A Taste of the Tropics

Yesterday my mom and I went to the Philadelphia International Flower Show.  The theme this year is Hawaii – Islands of Aloha.  Saw tons of cool stuff; the show runs all week and I would definitely recommend going if you are in the area!  Here are a few pictures…


Unfortunately, I have never been to Hawaii.  I was, however, lucky enough to take a trip to Costa Rica.  My parents go every year and are planning on retiring there.  In September they were going to be spending two weeks in Costa Rica and invited my boyfriend and me to fly down and join them for the second week of their trip.  I had only ever flown twice in my life, and both times I had panic attacks.  I was petrified at the thought of getting on another plane but I would have been a complete moron to turn down a mostly free trip to Costa Rica (we just had to pay for our plane tickets) so of course we accepted the invitation.

I spent the months leading up to the trip worrying.  What if I had a complete freak out in the air and they had to scramble fighter jets to escort the plane for emergency landing in Mexico?  What if I made it there and then got attacked by malaria carrying mosquitoes?  What if I was too scared to get on the plane for the return flight home and had to spend the rest of my life panhandling at the San Jose International Airport?!  AHHHHHH!  Instead of just being excited about getting about the fact that my boyfriend of seven years and I were getting to go on our first REAL VACATION together (an overnight stay at the shore just doesn’t count…), my brain was plagued with dozens of horrifying scenarios.  As I waited at Newark International in the early AM to board our flight I was quite sure that I was going to die.

Well, I obviously didn’t die.  In fact, about fifteen minutes after takeoff I realized that I was perfectly fine and that I wasn’t going to cause any international incidents.  We had a layover in Houston (they have a Bass Pro Shops store IN THE AIRPORT there – really?) and then flew in to Costa Rica.  My parents came and collected us from the airport and we began our adventure!

We got to see crocs…


…one sloth (but only from behind!)…

…and glorious sunsets!

Plus we got to stay at the most beautiful resort…

…where my mom spent the afternoons drinking a most heavenly concoction made with this stuff –

This, my friends, is Cacique!  It is a hard liquor (kind of like vodka, I suppose) called Guaro made from sugar cane and manufactured only in Costa Rica.  Check out the second half of this clip from the show Three Sheets and watch Zane Lamprey do shots of Cacique, also called “The Gringo Killer” by locals!

I will agree – consumed by itself this stuff does taste like turpentine (or at least, I can imagine that it tastes like turpentine since I have never actually attempted to drink paint thinner…) BUT – when you blend it with cream of coconut and ice, and add a splash of grenadine you have tropical heaven in a glass!!  It’s amazing how good it is!  Lucky for me we brought home a few bottles from the duty-free shop at the airport.  Unlucky for you (unless you are reading this blog in Costa Rica) I don’t know of anywhere you can buy Cacique, at least not in the NJ/PA area.

Since I have now teased you with something most likely unattainable, I will give you a recipe for the next best thing – the Bikini Martini!  I found this recipe here, on Allrecipes.com.


  • 1 fluid ounce coconut rum
  • 3/4 fluid ounce vodka
  • 1 fluid ounce pineapple juice
  • 1 dash grenadine syrup


  1. Combine rum, vodka and pineapple juice in a drink shaker. Shake firmly until frothy. Pour in a martini glass, add a touch of grenadine in the middle. Garnish with an orange wheel.

Pretty simple to make, and it will definitely give you a taste of the tropics!!


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