If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Head for the Bar!

The new digs a.k.a. kitchen

In case you hadn’t noticed, the CS cook has been on hiatus for a while, two months to be exact.  The reasons are many.  A cool art project I did on Governor’s Island.  An exciting new job.  Less couchsurfer requests due to the collapse of the world economy.  A re-evaluation of taking in couchsurfers, based on the goofy experience with the Korean girls (read last post for the sordid details).

But perhaps the biggest reason for my disappearance was that the Couchsurfing Cook got herself a BRAND-NEW KITCHEN! That’s right.  Ya’ can’t be cookin’ in the public eye without some serious Ikea cojones to back you up, and now I have them.

You see for the past two-and-a-half years, I’ve been working in a pretty makeshift set-up without storage, shelves, pantry, nuthin’! When I needed a place to put dishes, I’d put ’em back in the dishwasher!  I had one — count ’em one — drawer for spices, pasta, flour, etc.  Needless to say, it was NOT culinarily inspirational.

However given that I was short on cash-ola (and can’t make a large design/purchasing decision to save my life) the kitchen languished in a state of entropy until, well, until this blog came along and then, thankfully, something had to change.

And kids, change it did.  BIG TIME!  And now, it’s big, clean, white, and bright, and itchin’ for a cookin’ fight, as we like to say in Texas.

Which, speaking of Texas (trust me readers, this is going somewhere…), it’s been HOT here in New York City.  And I mean hot as h-e-double-toothpicks.  In fact, it’s so hot, you can fry an egg on your forehead!  It’s so hot, the hot dogs are sweating mustard! It’s so hot, the ice cream’s moving to Canada!  It’s so hot…aw heck, I’ll stop while I’m ahead.

Marcy and me after I dyed and cut my hair and got a tattoo

But seriously, it’s so hot that the other day I drifted into a Proustian, heat-inspired reverie of my own first wild and crazy couchsurfing experience, a Sex-in-the-City style trip I took a few years back to the fair city of Austin, Texas, where I met a woman who’s now become a lifelong friend and one of the BEST couchsurfing ambassadors I know:  Marcy Etemadi.  And it was in Austin, with the red-headed, salsa-lovin’ Marci, that I was introduced to what has become my favorite summertime drink, one that’s PERFECT for hot, hellish weather.  The infamous, only known in Austin, “Mexican Martini.”

Now if you haven’t already guessed, an M&M (as I’m going to nickname it) involves tequila instead of gin.  Having never been a gin fan myself, I for one was thrilled to learn you could turn the British classic on its head with a south-of-the-border twist.

But the coolest thing about an M&M is that you’ll NEVER (and I mean never) find a bartender outside of Austin, Texas who’s ever heard of this drink nor knows how to make it.  Which means, dear reader, when you saunter into your local pub, all gimlet-eyed, and ask the lovely lad or lass behind the bar if s/he can fix you a “Mexican Martini,” this same bartender will no doubt look at you with an expression lying somewhere between fear and love.  Because you, dear reader, have stumped the chump.  You’ve challenged the bartender’s manhood.   Respect, as Arthur Miller would say, must now be paid.

At which point your task is to whip out the piece of paper upon which you’ve written the recipe, hand it to the bartender, and calmly wait for the results.  Then, upon making said beverage and determining that it is, indeed, delicious, YOU, dear reader, will be elevated within the confines of the pub to cocktail god/goddess status. More specifically, the bartender will genuflect in your direction, bow in humbleness to your libational loveliness, and be forever in your debt for teaching him/her how to make this drink, thus guaranteeing you a free round next time you visit.  Do I wax nostalgic?  Oh yes.  I wax.

And so, without further ado, I present the M&M.  The perfect summer cool-me-down.  The drink that will have the bar buying YOU rounds.  And, more importantly, will quickly help you forget that Satan just sent God a text message asking if he could raise the temperature on earth just a few degrees past 100;  he’s feeling a little chilly.

Sante!  Slainte!  Salut!

Mexican Martini

Serves one lush or two lusty but responsible females.


2 ounces silver tequila
1 1/2 ounces Cointreau
2 ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 ounce fresh orange juice
1 splash Sprite
1 splash olive juice or to taste
2-3 plain or jalapeno-stuffed olives


1.  Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
2.  In the shaker pour the tequila, Cointreau, lime, and orange juice.
3. Shake and strain into a wide martini glass pre-prepared with a salted rim.
4.  Add a splash of Sprite and a splash of olive juice, or more to taste.
5.  On a toothpick spear 2-3 plain or jalapeno stuffed olives and add to glass to garnish the drink.
6. Sip and enjoy.