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Boat Drinks: Ti’ Punch of Martinique

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The national cocktail of Martinique, Ti’ Punch (“ti” meaning the Creole word for little, as in petite),  is often served “deconstructed.On a tray of your choosing, serve these goodies to your friends:

  • a bottle of rhum agricole    
  • a bottle of sugarcane syrup
  • a bowl of limes
  • a bowl of crushed ice
  • a bois lélè swizzle stick

Then, as they cheerfully say in Martinique, “Each prepares their own death.” We prefer to prepare choose our own adventure – and this drink certainly is an adventure!

So what’s the difference between rhum and rum? Isn’t one just a pretentious spelling of our favorite tropical liquor? Turns out it’s a totally different spirit! Rum is made from molasses, but rhum agricole is made from fresh-pressed sugarcane juice. Be sure to explain this to your guests while setting out the tray. We’re sure they’ll be impressed.

Roll the limes on the table and slice them along the edge to create that limey, aromatic smell for your Ti’.  And buy authentic syrup like Petite Canne Traditional Martinique Sugar Cane Syrup. It really does make a difference.

But where do you find a bois lélè swizzlestick? Try buying one from a Martinique bartender and they’ll look at you cross-eyed: their bois léle swizzle sticks are treasured. Bois léle carvers who know where to locate the rare tree won’t tell anyone: it’s a sacred secret. You might have to go without this one if you’re mixing up this drink at home!

While natives of Martinique often concoct their own special versions Ti’, this is the official Rhum Clément Ti’ Punch recipe:

2 oz Rhum Clement Premiere Canne White Rhum Agricole
1/2 oz sugarcane syrup
1 sliver of lime
Crushed ice

In a glass, squeeze the lime sliver, then drop it in and pour the sugarcane syrup over it. Add the rhum and stir the drink until the syrup is dissolved. Add a tablespoon of crushed ice and briefly stir again to chill.

There you have it! Traditionally, you’re supposed to toss your Ti’ back in one shot. In the morning. We tend to be a little less strict with our serving times. But then again, it is five o’clock somewhere, right?

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Bucket List: Off the Beaten Track in Turks & Caicos

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Soft, white sand beaches. Miles of coral reef accessible right off the shore.  Blue lagoons and rocky cliffs. What wonderful paradise are we talking about?

Providenciales Island (or “Provo” to the locals) in the Turks and Caicos, of course! In 2015, TripAdvisor gave T&C the honorable title of World’s Top Island. If that’s not convincing enough, Grace Bay is consistently rated at number 1 or 2 best beaches in the Caribbean. Pretty impressive.

Looking for something more off the beaten path? Head south to the Chalk Sound, full of pristine islets prime for kickin’ back and daydreamin’ until the sun sets. The water is so turquoise you might forget the real world exists!

Speaking of the real world, here are two things we bet you didn’t know about Turks and Caicos:

  1. The famous female pirate Anne Bonny loved T&C so much that she made Parrot Cay Island her jump-off point in the 1720s. The island actually used to be called Pirate Cay, but if you ask us, Parrot sounds a little friendlier.
  2. Former NASA astronaut John Glenn splashed down to the island in his capsule, Friendship 7, in 1962. The Splashdown Grand Turk attraction celebrates this honor with replicas of the Atlas rocket and the Friendship 7, and even Glenn in a spacesuit. Definitely a site to be seen!

The icing on the cake? T&C has 40 islands, only eight of which are inhabited. Want a Caribbean island to yourself? Get yourself to Turks and Caicos, ASAP.

Shutterstock/Copyright: Alvin Travel Junkie

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Caribbean Critters: Potcake Puppies of Turks and Caicos

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When we first heard about Potcake dogs, our first thought was puppies! Again, puppies! And that led to an inevitable discussion of where we could find these adorable animals. Local toy store? Amazon? We could always use more puppies in our lives.

But we were wrong. These canines are indigenous to Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas. They get their awesome name from the Bahamian term for the congealed rice and peas mixture from the bottom of cooking pots that locals fed the island dogs. Hence, Potcake dogs.

The history of this unique breed stems from the blend of dogs introduced to the islands. Start with the pups of the hammock-inventing Arawak, throw in some tall-ship terriers, and a pinch of Loyalist Tory dogs from the American Revolution, and you get a sense of their heritage.

Although their appearances vary, Potcake dogs generally have smooth coats, cocked ears, and long faces. And long faces won’t work on us. Even if they are adorable.

Despite their mixed background, Potcake dogs are recognized as a dog breed in both Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas, though the Bahamians prefer the term Royal Bahamian Potcake (how fancy!). We’re a little more laid back; Potcake dog is good enough for us.

In 2005, Turks and Caicos-based rescue organization Potcake Place became a registered charity. After running out of families to adopt to on the local islands, volunteers started connecting with potential adopters through the Potcake Place website (www.potcakeplace.com) and Facebook page.

There’s no charge for the pups, but they do ask for and appreciate a donation that will help cover vaccines and allow them to bring more pups into care. Don’t you just want to adopt one of these doggies? We do!

Image: Potcake Place K-9 Rescue

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Boat Drink: The Infiniti Martini (A Mathematical Possibility)

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The Infiniti Bar isn’t just one of CNN’s top five beach bars, it’s also the Caribbean’s longest, clocking in at a whopping 90 feet. (That’s the same distance from home plate to first base on a baseball field!) This amazing watering hole is stationed on our Grace Bay in Turks & Caicos, one of the best beaches in all of the Caribbean. The Infiniti Bar also has an infinity-edge, so you can enjoy your martini while the waves lap at your feet.

Ok, time for the booze – we know you’re reading this for the cocktail recipe! It’s not the world’s longest alcoholic beverage, but the Infiniti martini is the Infiniti Bar’s gorgeous, delicious signature drink. It’s definitely better when you’re at a famous bar floating over the waves, but you can recreate the experience at home via this drink. It’s easy and it’s strong! Win win, right?

The infiniti martini

  • 4 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1 ounce  rum
  • 1 ounce Hpnotiq liqueur

Combine all ingredients with one cup of ice in a martini shaker. Shake to blend and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a cherry.

Hpnotiq liqueur (NOT a typo) is an ocean-blue blend of vodka, tropical fruit juices, and a dash of cognac which, when mixed with pineapple juice, gives the infiniti martini it’s vibrant blue-green color. The same color of the Caribbean sea stretching out before you.

Sip a little island and dive into your escape.

Image: www.billionphotos.com / shutterstock.com

Musical Announcement - Jimmy Buffett

New Musical Featuring Songs of Jimmy Buffett will have its World Premiere at La Jolla Playhouse

Jen Balzer News

STRICTLY LIMITED ENGAGEMENT: MAY 16, 2017 THROUGH JUNE 25, 2017
MUSIC BY: JIMMY BUFFETT
BOOK BY: GREG GARCIA AND MIKE O’MALLEY
DIRECTED BY: CHRISTOPHER ASHLEY

Producers Frank Marshall, Mindy Rich, Anita Waxman, and Beth Williams announced today that the new musical featuring the songs of legendary singer-songwriter-author Jimmy Buffett, with an original story by co-book writers Greg Garcia and Mike O’Malley, will have its world premiere at La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, California. Directed by Tony Award® nominee and Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley, the strictly limited engagement will kick off the Playhouse’s 2017/2018 season, with performances beginning on May 16, 2017, an official opening night of May 28, and will play through June 25, 2017.

Featuring both original songs and your most-loved Jimmy Buffett classics, this new musical is the story of a part-time singer, part-time bartender, and fulltime good ol’ boy named Tully who suddenly finds himself in uncharted territory – falling in love with a beautiful, career-minded tourist.

“Jimmy Buffett’s music has embedded itself in our national consciousness – his songs are not only anthems of popular culture, they’re practically a way of life,” said Christopher Ashley. “I couldn’t resist the chance to visit ‘Margaritaville’ with this team to bring his singular spirit to the stage in a brand new Playhouse musical.”

Additional information, including casting, will be announced shortly.

The Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse is internationally-renowned for creating some of the most exciting and adventurous work in American theatre, through its new play development initiatives, its innovative Without Walls series, artist residencies and commissions, including BD Wong, Daniel Beaty and Kirsten Greenidge. Currently led by Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg, the Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, and reborn in 1983 under the artistic leadership of Des McAnuff, La Jolla Playhouse has had 25 productions transfer to Broadway, garnering 35 Tony Awards, among them Jersey Boys, Memphis, The Who’s Tommy, Big River, as well as Billy Crystal’s 700 Sundays and the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife, both fostered as part of the Playhouse’s Page To Stage Program.

Margaritaville Resort Biloxi

Topping-off Ceremony at River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, OK

Jen Balzer News

“Palm trees and views I can’t believe, why would I ever want to leave?” –Jimmy Buffett

FIN FACT:
A native tree is often placed on the final beam of the the tallest point on a new structure by builders to show respect for the land. The traditional evergreen tree used in this topping off ceremony at River Spirit was replaced with a locally grown palm tree.

The Margaritaville Restaurant and casino are scheduled to open in September and the 483 room hotel tower will open by the end of the year.

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1979 Eagles Jimmy Buffett

Dispatch from the Road: Take It Easy Glenn Frey

Jen Balzer Dispatches From the Road

Margaritaville’s very own Heikki Larsen has worked with Jimmy Buffett for years on great projects such as Margaritaville TV videos and live shows. Be sure to check out his other posts in his Dispatches from the Road series, where Heikki keeps us all updated on the thoughts, reactions, and antics of being on tour.

Recently, we lost Glenn Frey. I got a text from my dad telling me and I felt like I had lost a close friend. I had never met Glenn Frey but after listening to his songs for most of my life I felt like he and the Eagles would always BE. His passing is especially sorrowful for our Margaritaville family because of his connection with Jimmy and the influence he had on his career.

Jimmy’s connection with the Eagles started in the mid seventies. It was Jimmy’s first big break to open for them and during that time friendships were made. At the time Don Henley and Glenn Frey were spending time in Aspen, CO and so was Jimmy. There were some great parties back then and when one of your friends was Hunter S. Thompson, you knew there were going to be some good times. There’s a video on YouTube of Jimmy and Glenn Frey playing Margaritaville at Aspen High School and in the background you can see Hunter smoking, unable to sit still.

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Bucket List: Sea Glass Beach, Bermuda

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One person’s trash is another’s treasure, and Bermuda’s sea glass beaches are treasure troves of our glass trash. Those gorgeous aqua pebbles are trash? Yup. They’re bottles either thrown overboard, spewed out by shipwrecks or, unfortunately, deliberately dumped.

Sea glass bits come in different colors, depending on what objects they originally were. The white, brown, and emerald pieces mostly come from beer bottles, while other colors (from black to blues to pinks and everything in between) come from other glass objects, like medicine and perfume bottles.

Listen closely and you’ll hear lovely music come out of sea glass as it tumbles about beach rocks. Combine that with the hurricane season and it can turn into a loud masterpiece!

Years of pounding hurricanes and shipwrecks along Bermuda’s 70 mile coastline have created not one, but two (yep) glass beaches.

Convicts Cemetery Beach (AKA Dockyard Beach) lies near an old Naval dump. Don’t take home sea glass from here or you’ll end up a convict yourself: it’s quite illegal. Building Bay Beach (AKA Alexandra Battery Beach) is guarded by an 1860s fort, which is free and open to the public. It’s called Building Bay because the ship Deliverance was built here in 1610 before making its way to Jamestown, Virginia.  This secluded and little-traveled beach, only a 15 minute walk from St. George, is sprinkled with sea glass and also has a cave to explore.

Pick up Bermudian sea glass and try to figure out its origin as you sip your Rum Swizzle.

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Boat Drinks: The Rum Swizzle

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“Swizzle in, swagger out.” Sounds like fun to us! That’s the motto of the Swizzle Inn, the oldest pub in Bermuda, where the rum swizzle was born. One of the national drinks of Bermuda (yes, there are several), the rum swizzle can be had everywhere in the Caribbean.

So now you know where the Rum Swizzle came from, but what exactly is a “swizzle?”

  1. The dance you do when you drink one
  2. The sound your skin makes when out on the beach too long
  3. A stick you stir your drink with

Answer: C. It’s a stick cut from the native Bermudian allspice bush. You swizzle your swizzle with a swizzle. Tongue twister right there.

There’s a wide variety of Rum Swizzle recipes out there, but this one is authentic:

The Swizzle Inn’s Rum Swizzle (sure to make you stagger swagger)

4 oz dark rum
4 oz gold rum
2 oz triple sec
2 oz Bermuda Falernum or sugar syrup
5 oz pineapple juice
5 oz orange juice
Juice of 2 lemons
4 dashes of Angostura Bitters

In a pitcher ⅓ full of ice, pour ingredients and stir enthusiastically with a swizzle until a frothy head appears and frost forms on the outside of the pitcher. This is literally a very cool drink to serve.

Image: rmnoa357 / shutterstock.com