Samara O'Shea

My Vacation in Cocktails

What brought me to Honduras specifically was a wedding. It’s a country I may not have traveled to otherwise, but I’m so glad I went. One of my cousin Kate’s good friends was getting married, so we decided to turn the festivities into a full vacation. All drinks appear in chronological order:

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We arrived in San Pedro Sula on a Friday afternoon. Once settled, we went out to dinner at an open air restaurant—the name escapes me. I remember well that the grill was enormous and the Honduran football (soccer) team was playing. The bride to be, Karla, ordered for us. What came next were two mammoth plates of meat—pork, beef, chicken, and sausage. A carnivore’s delight! We drank Barena, which is a Honduran beer similar to Corona. It was a perfect pairing.

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The wedding took place on Saturday afternoon and the reception went well into the night. The bar’s specialty were these cute little Piña Coladas, so that’s what we drank. Until they started pouring the wine that is.

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On Monday, what was left of the bridal party got on a bus and went to Copan—a small city centered around some extraordinary ruins left by the Mayan people. While there, we went out to dinner at a lodge/restaurant called Hacienda San Lucas, which is situated on a hill offering spectacular views. The restaurant is at the top of the hill and at the bottom are stumps and extra large stones offering a front-row seat to the sunset. We ordered our drinks at the top of the hill, and I was beyond impressed when the staff brought them to the bottom. It was a mighty balancing act that enabled me to savor an Argentinean Chianti and the view.

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A romantic dinner for twelve at the Hacienda San Lucas.

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On Wednesday, we said goodbye to the newlyweds and their kin and headed off to Roatan—one of the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras. My first drink on the island was a Monkey La La. Yes, you heard me correctly. This is the island’s signature drink and all the bars serve it. It’s made with vodka, Baileys, Kahlúa, and I’m guessing cream. The Baileys stands out among all the other flavors. It’s a glorified milkshake.

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To accompany my reasonably-priced lobster dinner, a Margarita on the rocks (yet still in a ridiculous glass) with salt.

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After dinner, the owner of the restaurant offered us a shot of this stuff. You can’t see it very well, but there is a plant in this bottle. Apparently you mix some liquid with the plant and volia—you get a drink that tastes like black jelly beans.

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It is, admittedly, a little shady to drink such a strange thing but since it was the owner and not some random guy on the street (or at the bar) offering we took our chances. The shot wasn’t my taste, but it also wasn’t laced with anything. A win/win I’d say.

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More Monkey La Las to celebrate the fact that we have nothing to do in the middle of the day.

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This is either a Tequila Sunrise or a Strawberry Margarita, which are strikingly similar when you think about. In any case, it was a great trip—an ideal mix of culture, adventure, Caribbean breezes, fabulous food and memorable drinks.