|Photo by @antjjphotog.|
Last Sunday, I gathered with friends at the chic Hotel Chelsea on Washington Avenue to celebrate Sex and the Beach's 10th anniversary. The location couldn't have been more appropriate, right in the heart of South Beach, where it all started.
The art deco boutique hotel serves up drinks in an updated and elegant lobby bar, which was perfect for this intimate gathering. Outside, a cozy patio is set with tables and couches for food service from Alex's Kitchen at Chelsea.
|The lobby bar at Hotel Chelsea was already decked out for Halloween.|
It's here we enjoyed some tasty libations with Martin Miller's Gin, the cocktail I created with Robert V. Burr in 2011 as a "trade up" to the old classic Sex on the Beach.
To this day, I still have to remind people whenever they ask about my blog that it's called Sex and the Beach, not on the beach. There's a big difference between the preposition on and the conjunction and -- the former is a state of mind; the latter involves sand in the orifices, which can get quite itchy.
Born on the sultry shores of Miami Beach, of course, the cocktail sounds more exotic en Español. Under the Florida sun, beautiful bodies tan in the white-sand beaches of an alluring, glossy town -- never mind the darker, gritty underbelly of this urban beach, which keeps it raw and real: just how I like it.
And so inspired by the blog that was, in turn, inspired by this city, we created a cocktail with unexpected zing: muddled jalapeño and ginger beer offset the sweetness of peach nectar. The botanicals in the gin make for a drink that's as good to smell as it is to sip.
|The bar manager at Hotel Chelsea did a fantastic job of modifying a single-serve highball recipe to self-pour in a glass keg.|
Tempted? While in South Beach, ask your bartenders for an elegant Sexo y La Playa. Let them know the soon-to-be-world-famous cocktail garnered rave reviews at its public debut from a distinguished panel of experts hanging out at the fabulous Hotel Chelsea. If they look at you all funny, ask them to tweet @vicequeenmaria for the recipe or send them to the Martin Miller Gin vault.
(Whatever you do, while in South Beach, please drink like a local. I beg you. Kindly refrain from ordering those fish bowl cocktails served in Ocean Drive cafés with two Corona beers standing neck down in some tacky mockery of the classic Margarita. I'm pretty sure a kitten dies somewhere each time one of those monstrosities is consumed.)
But I digress. Back to the party.
As classic 80s music played in the background, we chatted and savored fresh sushi rolls from Fung Ku, which delivered my favorite: spicy tuna. If you've been following my #vicequeenkitchen tag in the social networks, you know how particular -- and particularly bananas -- I am about food. Fung Ku's sushi -- how do I explain this without sounding pervy? -- was tight and crisp in texture as I rolled each morsel in my mouth. We love this, because there's nothing sadder than something limp and soggy in your mouth.
We also licked our lips while devouring two gorgeous cakes from It's A Bundt. The frosting alone gave me dirty thoughts and (shhh!) I stuck a finger in it when no one was looking. The bundt may have a hole in it, but it sure was full of love. Yeah, that's it. Our favorite love hole comes surrounded by something moist and tasty. Dig in!
|Soul of Miami, another long-time Miami website, stopped by to say hello.|
|Clearly, I skipped cake eating etiquette 101 at charm school.|
Good grief, I wanted to write about my shindig and all I think about is the food. Because it's always about sex or stuff that's more interesting than sex, namely, food.
Sex and food, folks. That's all she wrote. And then some.
I really didn't want to celebrate anything at all, but I thought, what the heck? A decade is kind of a big deal. I could never have imagined the doors that this blog would open or the joy I would experience from meeting so many amazing folks along the path.
And all this because one day, back in October 2005, I decided to write about how convenient it would be to have a pap smear while getting your vaj waxed. (I still think it's a good idea.)
Damn. I guess that alone was worth a toast. Here's to another ten!
Created with flickr slideshow.
The businesses mentioned in this post happily supported this event by providing goods and services, for which we are very grateful! All opinions my own, as always.