CCA's Favorite Island Beverages

What is your favorite island beverage?

The Charles Communications Associates staff offers their favorite refreshing recipes for those dog days of summer.   If you're not on an island, fill the kiddie pool, put on your flip flops, play some slide guitar music and close your eyes, all the while holding one of these quaffers. 


What a great question for this hot summer month. I write this as I leave 95-degree New York City heading home to an unseasonable 90 degrees in San Francisco. My favorite island beverage hails from Mexico, so not really an island locale per se but plenty of coastline and beaches and the home of #Tequila have created this #1 selling drink worldwide. 

Kimberly receiving her Tequila Masters certificate from the President of the State of Jalisco, Mexico and Tommy's Mexican Restaurant owner Julio Bermejo.

Kimberly receiving her Tequila Masters certificate from the President of the State of Jalisco, Mexico and Tommy's Mexican Restaurant owner Julio Bermejo.

More specifically, my version is the Tommy’s Margarita, created at the legendary Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in #SanFrancisco by #Tequila Ambassador Julio Bermejo. His parents opened the restaurant in 1965 and the family are celebrating 50 years of business this year. The Tommy’s Margarita is served worldwide from Moscow to Munich and beyond. The secret is fresh lime juice, a splash of agave nectar and for me @ElTesoroTequila specifically Platinum.  You can add your own favorite and customize it. If you are ever in our fair city, stopping by this bar and restaurant is a MUST. Mom Elmy is manning the cash register, sisters Elmy and Candy work the floor many nights and if Julio isn’t out spreading the gospel of the agave distillate, you’ll have the pleasure of one of his handmade pitchers, because one just won’t do. Lift your glass and toast Tommy who left us too soon but whose metaphoric and literal spirit live on. Salud! Find the recipe at:


                       Mezcal Margarita

                       Mezcal Margarita

My favorite island beverage is a Mezcal Margarita. I don't have a specific island in mind for this drink, but I'd imagine somewhere off the Mexican coast (or on any patio on a warm summer evening…soft Spanish guitar playing in the background...). I love this beverage because it does feel like a sexy, island vacation cocktail, with the sultry smokiness of the Mezcal and the heat from the jalapeño.


Here's a great recipe you can make on or off the island:


Juice from 1 lime

3 ounces Mezcal (nothing too fancy - save the good stuff for solo sipping. Try Los Amantes Joven - $55)

1 ½ ounce triple sec 

1 teaspoon agave syrup. 

4 slices jalapeño 

2-3 sprigs cilantro 

Smoked sea salt

Muddle the jalapeño and cilantro into a shaker. Add ice. Squeeze the lime. Add the Mezcal and triple sec. Shake well and pour the contents, including the ice into two small salt rimmed glasses. Garnish with a pinch of smoked sea salt on top and a fresh sprig of cilantro.


Coming from a tropical city (Rio de Janeiro) and country (Brazil) I could not avoid naming the famous "caipirinha" as my favorite island beverage. This drink goes perfectly with the summer breeze and the sound of the ocean. The classic "caipirinha" is the one with lemon but what a lot of people don't know is that you can be as creative as you like. Lichee and Kiwi are also amazing or you can even mix - like the sweet & sour strawberry and lemon. The original drink is made with "cachaça", a distilled spirit made from sugarcane juice, but there are variations like the "caipivodka" and the "caipisake", also really good and refreshing.



Although recipes can be found online, good "caipirinhas" are all about a person's taste. Ultimately, it is a mix of squeezed fruit (involving a muddler or a wooden spoon) with alcohol, ice and sugar (or sweetener). But since some people like it strong, while others like it fruity and sweet, it is difficult to establish a "by-the-book" recipe. A piece of advice? Just pick your favorite fruits and start experimenting!


My favorite island beverage is without a doubt an Açaí Smoothie. In my hometown, Kailua, HI, there is a smoothie place- Lanikai Juice- that makes the most delicious Açaí bowls! Açaí is a berry filled with anti oxidants that comes from South America. I love Açaí most in a bowl topped with granola, bananas, coconuts and honey! It has tart flavoring on its own, but mixed with soymilk and apple juice it makes for the most heavenly smoothie! This smoothie can be had as a snack or as a meal supplement. Because it is so nutritious and refreshing, it has grown in popularity to be consumed for breakfast but I also enjoy having one after a workout or for lunch at the beach on a hot day! Enjoy! 

Acai Bowl from Lanikai Juice

Acai Bowl from Lanikai Juice



1 Sambazon Acai Packet

1 cup apple juice

1/2 cup soy milk

1 banana


1/2 cup of granola

Honey (I like a lot!)

Fresh Berries

Coconut Shavings

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