What a beautiful Memorial Day weekend we had! I’m not talking about the weather; I don’t know anything about that- I mean beautiful in the sense that there were a lot of fun things to watch on television.
It seemed the obvious go-to for everyone this weekend was the revival of Arrested Development, which released its much-anticipated fourth season to Netflix on Sunday. I am a huge, huge AD fan. I have watched and rewatched the first three seasons countless times. I had planned on a big extravaganza post on it this week. I got four episodes in on Sunday evening and couldn’t go on- it just wasn’t the same. I just didn’t find it funny. This is a sensitive matter; please respect my privacy at this time.
But that’s not what we are here to talk about today. There is a much more pressing national issue at hand: mermaids.
My breaking point with Arrested Development happened to coincide perfectly with the premiere of Mermaids: The New Evidence, part of “Monster Week” (totes the new Shark Week) on Animal Planet. This was a sequel to their explosive documentary, Mermaids: The Body Found which aired during the same week last year and featured some alleged scientists discussing the theory that mermaids are, in fact, real. We’re not talking about hot redheads or Daryl Hannah here- these are terrify, hideous beings. Think creature from the black lagoon with a mohawk and the eyes of Michele Bachmann on the cover of Newsweek.
The show sparked a heated debate that divided our country into two factions. On one side, you have stoners and other fun people who were like “omg this is awesome mermz are so real!!”; on the other, there are the killers of fun- the mermaid deniers (not to be confused with AIDS deniers, though equally offensive.) These are the type of people who probably sided with the bitchy mom in Miracle on 34th Street who doesn’t let her kid believe in Santa. The government, of course, is a part of the latter group, releasing an official mermaid statement which stated that mermaids are totally not real so just stop talking about it okay you guys!!!
I am proud to have been a mermaid believer ever since they first aired the original special last year. More accurately, I guess, I have always been a mermaid believer; I just never came to terms with it until the good people at Animal Planet forced me to acknowledge my truth. I was born this way.
This year’s special only solidified my belief in and solidarity with the mermaid people. We got all kinds of mer-mazing new footage of real life mermz doing their thing; it truly has to be seen to be believed. Sure, some people have already begun criticizing it, calling the videos fake and claiming the scientists are actors, but it’s like Diddy always tells me via twitter- ignore the haters!
Besides, if it’s all so fake, then why did the government shut down the mermaid website immediately after the first special aired?
Pretty shady if you ask me. What do they know that we don’t? What are they hiding? Are these fat cats in Washington are all sitting around puffing cigars and torturing their pet mermz while we all have to sit around and pretend to live in a mermaid-free world? Not on my watch. This is a call to action. Contact your congressman and demand mermanswers. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
But if you still aren’t convinced, come sit down and have a chat with me. I’ve made us cocktails.
Tempting, right? I’m not usually one for super fruity drinks- give me a vodka soda with a couple limes and I’m a happy guy. However, when I do venture in to the sugary booze territory, I pretty much always go for the margarita. I’m a Texan; it’s in my blood. (I’m not talking about that real housewife Skinny Girl garbage either- if I’m gonna drink a margarita, I’m gonna drink a fucking real margarita, and all the delicious calories that come with it.)
Here I have given them a new twist, taking inspiration from the ocean and our mermaid brethren. I want to make a drink that tastes and looks like an ocean breeze, I originally thought. Then I realized I lifted that phrase from a particularly horrific episode of Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade, where she makes her “Ocean Breeze” cocktail (inspired by her local aqworrium!).
I will have nightmares about that tablescape. *shudder*
Rather than pouring Hypnotiq over ice and throwing blueberries on top, however, I decided to take a fresher approach. I whipped up a blueberry simple syrup made with fresh blueberries, which are just starting to look lovely. Welcome summer!
When I say “whip up” I mean that very literally. It’s as easy as throwing some blueberries in a pan with sugar and water over medium heat for a couple minutes.
Then you just strain it, let it cool, and add it in with the rest of the ingredients. The light blue color you see in there comes from blue curacao, which I really added for it’s tropical color more than anything else. You can substitute Triple Sec, which is more traditional for margaritas and gives a similar orangey flavor. (Or leave it out all together, since we are using fresh orange juice as well.)
These can be served frozen or on the rocks. I actually prefer on the rocks because I can drink it faster and it doesn’t get as watery; I just thought frozen would be prettier for the pictures.
What I like about these is they have enough fresh lime juice (and tequila) that they still taste like a margarita, just with a special burst of excitement.
After you knock a couple of these back, I guarantee I will have you booking your next mermaid discovery expedition. I know you want to believe. Believe.
Blueberry Orange Margaritas
Makes: about 8 drinks
1 cup silver tequila
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 orange)
4 tbsp lime juice (about 2 limes)
1/4 cup blue curacao (can substitute TripleSec)
3/4 cup fresh blueberries (plus more for garnish)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
6 cups ice (for frozen margaritas)
Salt, for the rim (optional)
First, make the blueberry simple syrup. Combine blueberries, water, and sugar in a pan over medium heat. Allow to simmer for about 5-7 minutes, until blueberries have completely broken down. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and set aside to cool.
For frozen, combine all other ingredients along with the cooled simple syrup in a blender with ice and blend until smooth. For on the rocks, simply combine all other ingredients and serve over ice. Garnish with orange slice and extra blueberries.
(NOTE: for more interesting presentation like in the picture above, blend the ice, tequila, orange juice, and lime juice. Top each individual cocktail with a bit of blue curacao, then an equal amount of the blueberry simple syrup. Garnish with extra blueberries.)