Monday, April 14, 2008

Spring Break

Have I ever mentioned that I once lived in Key West? Yes, yes I did. I lived there, worked there, and met and married Mr.W there.

Aah, sand and sun all year long, now that's the life. Well, that's what people think, anyway. When you actually live there year-round, you quickly come to realize that life for local conchs isn't all fun-in-the-sun. They have to work hard--many work two and three jobs just to be able to afford the enormous expense of property and day-to-day life in the Florida Keys. Tiny apartments rent for over $1,000 USD per month!

I worked two jobs while there, myself. My main job was as a civilian working for the Navy. My second job was working for a landscape company owned by two friends that also worked their main jobs on the base!

One of the drawbacks to living in the Keys was the tourism. Yes, tourism funded the local economy, so it is a good thing, in and of itself. But there are times that it's aggravating--traffic is the most heavily effected, and especially during spring break.

Spring break brings thousands of youngsters to Key West every year, beginning in February and lasting through May. They come in their bikinis and swim trunks to stagger all over, often renting scooters to get around, meep-meeping their way all over town.

The meep-meep of a scooter is the most annoying sound.

One year there was a giant scooter pile-up that made the front-page news. All the locals laughed.

Oh, come on, now. You'd laugh, too. All those incrediby annoying drunken youngsters only got scuffed and ticketed.

That time in my life was a bit different from what it is now. Back then, I would head downtown with friends--maybe once or twice a month--and play tourist. A visit to the aquarium after work was one of my favorite things to do--then I'd meet up with my posse at Fat Tuesday.

When you live in Key West, everyone starts out at Fat Tuesday.

If you've never been to a Fat Tuesday, it's a bar with several locations in the United States and the Caribbean that serves very potent frozen boozy drinks in an open-air atmosphere.

I cannot stress enough how very drunk you will get on these beverages if you're not careful.

One of my favorite drinks was actually my own requested mixture--a blend of their Banana Banshee, Rum Runner and Pina Colada. It was a fruity paradise to enjoy while in paradise, and to me, was the essence of summertime in Key West.

Since I've been living in New York, I find myself daydreaming about Key West a lot. The warm breeze and sunshine, mostly. And even though we're finally getting some springtime weather here, it still dips down quite low at night. Most of the morning is cold, requiring socks and sweaters and jackets. We even got a little snow last night!

But we made a lifestyle decision to move here. And for now, part of that lifestyle means no Florida vacation.

But that's okay. I've made myself a little spring break to enjoy this afternoon.

This drink is everything that reminds me of my life in Key West. It's sweet, refreshing and delicious--but beware! Like the drinks at Fat Tuesday, this one packs quite a wallop.

Spring Break
serves 1

1-1/2 ounces coconut cream/cream of coconut*
1 ounce banana schnapps liqueur
1 ounce pineapple rum
1/3 cup mixed frozen berries (I used a blend of blackberries, raspberries and blueberries)

Put frozen berries in a glass.

In a separate container, combine coconut cream, banana schnapps and pineapple rum. Shake well and pour over frozen berries.

Enjoy. Enjoy carefully. While sitting.

*Coconut cream, also known as cream of coconut, is very sweet and a diabetic's nightmare. For a sugar-free replacement, combine 3/4 oz light unsweetened coconut milk with 3/4 ounce sugar free vanilla syrup (the kind you use to flavor coffee beverages).

This is my entry to Morsel & Musing's Mixology Monday event. The theme this month: fruit liqueurs. Head on over to the roundup for several yummy drink recipes that I'm sure you can enjoy the next time you're in the mood for a fruit-based boozy beverage!


Mary said...

What a delicious looking drink! When I think sun and sand all I can think is sunscreen.

Mrs. W said...

Thanks, Mary! It's true that sunscreen is certainly part of life in a sunny clime. I really believe that being careful of sun exposure has really preserved my skin, despite having lived in South Florida.

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