By David Nelson
Photo by Sara Norris
Spicy and delicately pink, The Duck Dive's "Take Me To Mexico!" manages to be manly enough for surfer dudes discussing the afternoon's waves.
So says the Pacific Beach gastropub's mixologist/bar manager Rob McShea, who created the cocktail to use fresh produce and be a draw at happy hour, when the concoction costs just five bucks.
"I tend to think of ingredients like a cook would," says McShea, "so I took the watermelon and basil from a summer salad and blended it with margarita ingredients. It's floral and fruit-forward with a little jalapeño kick."
Made of 100 percent agave tequila (infused on-premises with the fruit, herb and chili components) and mixed with fresh lemon juice and agave nectar, the thirst-quencher teeter-totters tartly and sweetly on the tongue while tossing heat into the party - pretty much like Baja at its best.
"It's a nice drink that would be an alternative to a margarita," says McShea. In fact, it's an alternative that he and his fellow bartenders shake up as many as 250 times per week.
Located a block from the sand with a Crystal Pier-inspired motif of surfboards and their riders (a surfer "duck dives" by pointing the board's nose under a wave to avoid taking the crest in the face), Duck Dive invites sunshine, salty breezes and the Mission Boulevard bustle inside through huge open windows.
It's where to yell, "Take Me To Mexico!" and enjoy a little southern flare... without driving down there.
The Duck Dive
4650 Mission Blvd., Pacific Beach