Another note from dah island, mon.
Two recent events in my little universe sent me down a slippery slope to discovery. The first was rather mundane, a trip to the grocery store. Several times during this visit I carelessly veered off my shopping list. I was drawn to a sweet-smelling aroma coming from a mound of fresh pineapples just shipped in from the Dominican Republic. They were golden, aromatic and ready to eat. Yum. I picked out a 2-pounder and tossed it in the cart. Next, I found myself wandering among the soft beverages rows. I’m not a soda drinker but I thought a can of ginger beer might be nice. Instead, I found agua de coco, coconut water which can put a serious dent into a hot tropical afternoon. Yes.
The other event was event more humdrum. Every three months I have to take our two boats from dock to an offshore mooring and clean their bottoms. They attract barnacles, algae, crabs and crusty critters that are all detrimental to the boats’ performance and fiberglass. It is quite a process. I start by schlepping 40 pounds of dive gear to the dock. I bring a metal scraper to knock of the barnacles, scrub pads for the algae, and a dive knife for the stubborn bastards. It’s an exhausting hour-plus effort working mostly upside down. I do one boat a day. The only redeeming value of this labor is that once complete, I float down forty feet to check out the reef below. The last time I was greeted by two French Angelfish and five curios barracudas.
Returning home yesterday after two days of boat bottom cleaning, I was knackered. My knuckles were scraped raw from hitting the crusty hull buildup. I had stings on my face and hands from underwater beasts that were furious for being evicted from their homes. My entire body felt pummeled. Thoughts drifted to an exotic elixir to restore my mojo. It was then that the sweet smell of pineapple wafting through the air drew me to the kitchen. The can of Conchita coconut water was chillin’ in the frig and I remembered an unopened bottle of Mount Gay Black Barrel rum that I had stashed in the cabinet months ago. Hmmm. It was time to get creative.
Now I’m not a fan of fruity tropical drinks and have little knowledge of them. Give me a good rum, a slice of lime and some bubbly water and I’m happy as a clam in the mud. So, I contacted our son for advice. He was a bar manager in London for a few years and became a quite a talented mixologist. “Put the pineapple in a blender and blend. Dilute with coco water and blend again with the rum. Maybe you want to add a pinch of cinnamon.” I did just that and poured the mix over ice. It was fantastic and not milky sweet like a piña colada. The mellow yellow concoction delivered the distinctive flavor of each ingredient. I was feeling better already. I wrote our son back for a name suggestion. “Well, since we are in the thick of a pandemic, how about a Piña Corona?” Clever boy.
But this drink was inspired by my underwater toil over the weekend—drudgery at sea. I prefer to simply call it a Boat Bottom. Try ordering one next time you can go to your favorite watering hole. My bet is that you will stump the bartender.