I love the tropics, I really do – but somehow I tend to choose non-tropical cocktails as my starting point. Sometimes you just need the froth and frizz of pineapple and mango and lychee and every other fruit, but more often than not these concoctions tend to be more a sweet fruit juice than to carry the desired kick.
On a walk down the beautiful beach near our villa we encountered the pretty grass-roofed La Plancha with mismatched brightly coloured tables and chairs and Balinese umbrellas – too cute to walk past twice. That, and the sand was too hot.
With a tasty array of tapas items, and a different list of cocktail options than I’d seen elsewhere it was the work of seconds to pick out El Rio – a curative potion of gin, cucumber ,lime and soda with just a touch of mint. Nothing could or has better quenched a beach thirst.
The cucumber hadn’t been as muddled as I would (will) do at home, but the salt of the soda and slightly sweeter than at-home limes really made this far more floral and refreshing – on par with a gin splashed with tonic.
And easy to drink, indeed – perfect to watch others be hot on the sand… all afternoon.. and evening, when La Plancha became even prettier.