In my mind, there’s a serious difference between “trips” and “vacations.”
Trips are intense. They involve guide books, and waking up early, and sensible walking shoes. (Since I refuse to purchase such shoes, trips also involve blisters and crying.) One does a lot of sightseeing and learning on trips, which tend to have an educational bent. A few trip examples: exploring Machu Picchu, climbing the Great Wall of China, visiting the Egyptian pyramids, touring Rome, Florence, Berlin, or any other major city with rich history (and endless museums/historical sites).
Trips are awesome and eye-opening experiences in so many ways, but they’re also exhausting. They demand a go-go-go mentality, meticulous planning, and translators (I like to use Logan for funsies—his Spanglish is particularly entertaining) among other things, and one often returns home more tired than when they left.
Whoever is responsible for the saying, “I need a vacation from my vacation” misspoke. That person was not on a vacation. They were on a TRIP.
Vacations are a completely different story. Vacations are meant for old school R&R. There’s no need for alarm clocks, itineraries, or supportive shoes. (In fact, the best vacations don’t require any footwear at all.) Vacation days are spent reading, and splashing in water, and generally chilling the fuck out. Multiple daily naps and cocktails aren’t just allowed, they’re encouraged. That’s not to say you can’t do some exploring on vacation, it’s just that the adventuring has a more leisurely feel. Your schedule is 100% flexible, and there’s no shame in doing absolutely nothing, if that’s your activity of choice.
Note: Not everyone is good at vacationing!! Some people can’t handle all that downtime. I am not one of those people.
Right now, I’m on vacation. (Surprise!) And not to toot my own horn, but I am KILLING IT.
Logan and I are in California for the week, and we’re doing a whole lot of nada in the best possible way. We flew into LA Friday night and after spending a glorious Saturday crushing Harry Potter World, a Rams preseason game, and some QT with my little brother, we drove up the coast to Santa Barbara for some roommate bonding time. Right near da beach, boiiiiii.
We’ve been happily holed up at my dad’s house for the past few days, and since my fam is out of town until tomorrow, the two of us have had the place to ourselves. (Despite my age, I’m still tempted to scream, “NO PARENTS!! WHOOOO!” and run around the house naked. Sorry, Dad.) Let’s just say there’s been a lot of romantic couple’s time spent bronzing, snoozing, and practicing our bartending skills. Logan announced a while ago that he had one very important goal for this week, and that was to drink a different cocktail every afternoon. We have remained committed to this important mission, and we’re very proud.
Several delightful libations have been shaken and stirred since the start of Logenapalooza 2016, but this Watermelon-Basil Mezcal Margarita is the current frontrunner for most epic vacation cocktail.
This one’s a knockout, friends. Sweet and tangy with just the right amount of Mezcal smoke, this perfectly balanced margarita is uber-refreshing and dangerously sippable. The basil adds a hint of herbal freshness, and as you can see, the drink is a total looker. The decorative fruit skewers are optional, but I’d go ahead and put in the few extra minutes to make them. You deserve pretty things and snacks in your cocktail. Just do it.
FYI, the recipe below is for a single margarita, but you’ll have enough watermelon juice for 4-5 cocktails, so I recommend getting tipsy with someone you love.
Weird Blog Lady on Vacay
- Flaky salt for rimming the glass (optional)
- 4-6 large fresh basil leaves (depending on how much basil flavor you like)
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice
- 3 ounces fresh watermelon juice (recipe follows)
- 2 ounces mezcal (or tequila)
- 3 cups cubed watermelon
- Watermelon cut into roughly ½-inch cubes
- Lime wedges (I recommend slicing your limes into ¼-inch rounds, then slicing each round into four triangles.)
- Fresh basil leaves
- Bamboo skewers
- If you plan to garnish your cocktail with a fancy fruit skewer, make that first. Trim your bamboo skewer so that it's about 1-inch taller than the cocktail glass you plan to use. Thread a cube of watermelon onto the skewer, a lime wedge, and a basil leaf. Repeat until the skewer is full. (It’s usually best to end on a watermelon cube for stability and presentation purposes, but don’t stress about it.) Briefly set aside.
- Next, make the watermelon juice. Place your cubed watermelon in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer (yes, a pasta strainer will work if that’s all you have) into a glass or mason jar.
- If you like a salt rim on your marg, pour some flaky sea salt onto a small plate. Moisten the rim of your cocktail glass and dip it in the salt.
- Add the basil leaves and lime juice to a cocktail shaker and muddle gently. Add the watermelon juice, mezcal and a few ice cubes and shake vigorously to combine.
- Strain the margarita into the rimmed cocktail glass and garnish with a decorative fruit skewer if you like.
If you're making margs for a crowd, feel free to prep your decorative skewers in advance. Once assembled, place them on a large plate, cover them with a damp paper towel, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
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