Last Saturday, Khan and I met some of his friends for dinner and a few drinks. Since April 25 this year, my husband’s birthday, falls on Monday which is a working day, we had an early birthday party (sort of). Usually, Khan and his friends from Seoul would be drinking until dawn, but that night, everyone was tired (I guess), so his friends decided to come home early. Ajubonim (brother-in-law) and Ka Yong (soon-to-be-sister-in-law) called it a day, too. My husband didn’t want to come home yet; neither did I. The night was young and HELLOOO… it was Saturday, so we called up another friend, Chan, to meet us after work.
I have wanted to try Korean margarita since I came here, but it’s not very common to find that drink in a bar in our area. I was glad when I found out that they were serving cocktails in the bar we had been to earlier but disappointed when I was told that they don’t serve margarita. Khan got me tequila sunrise instead, but it only added to my disappointment because the taste was abominable. My husband knew I wasn’t satisfied with the drink that he ordered for me, so he suggested we find a bar that serves margarita. We tried two new bars in Janghyeon: one was closed and the other doesn’t serve cocktails. I was surprised that most of the bars in Janghyeon were closing and it was only 12 midnight!
Khan suddenly remembered a newly opened wine and cocktail bar in Jinjeop. He asked if I wanted to go there. I was hesitant at first, because we couldn’t bring the car. Koreans don’t drive after drinking even just a little alcohol, so we had to take a taxi. (The maximum fine for drunk driving in Korea is 200, 000 won or 148 dollars, and your driver’s license might also be suspended. This is why Koreans are too careful not to drink and drive.)
On our way to Jinjeop, as I was looking at the quiet streets we passed by, I thought of how exciting our night out would have become if we were in my hometown in the Philippines. We wouldn’t even need to search bars for a margarita. Night life in Angeles City is SO MUCH FUN and DIFFERENT from night life in my husband’s little town in Korea. Most Koreans here are content on merely drinking, talking and eating non-stop in a bar or a hoff. There are no bands playing, no dance floors, no DJ’s. I miss jamming… I miss disco. Well, there are some places in Janghyeon where we can do these things, too, like the “norae bang” or singing room (karaoke bar)… but I really want to listen to live music… with a really good band playing. Of course, there are disco bars in other cities in Korea. Koreans call them “night”. I have wanted to go to one, but I was told that “nights” are only for younger people who are single. Besides, they have booking for getting into one, more like a reservation. Duh!!!
When we got to the bar, the waitress who was probably the same age as Khan welcomed us and gave us the menu. The words WINE AND COCKTAIL BAR were beautifully etched on the menu’s leatherette cover, but there were no cocktails in the menu! Whoah! Have you ever gone to a “wine and cocktail bar” that doesn’t serve cocktails at all? Khan and I could only look at each other and laugh. We said thank you to the waitress and left. Chan was going to meet us in the bar, but we left right away, so we had to wait for him outside. It was chilly. I wasn’t wearing any stockings and my mini-dress and leather jacket certainly didn’t help warm me up. That time, I just wanted to go home and give up our painstaking search for margarita, but my husband just wouldn’t give up. He kept looking around for another bar, but I was too lazy to walk, so I stayed and took some photos of cherry blossoms lined up on the street. A few minutes later, he came back and joined me in taking pictures.
Finally, Chan arrived. We came to another bar he suggested, and again, our effort came to nothing… no margarita or any cocktail at all. I couldn’t help but feel annoyed. It was almost 2, and we hadn’t found what we were looking for. I told Khan that we have wasted so much time looking for ONE drink, and we should just give up the search. He didn’t object. In the end, we decided to head back to Janghyeon and go to ANY open bar. The boys could drink anything, so finding the right bar was not an issue for them. For me, however, it was. I would never drink soju or beer, so the bar should serve juice at least. We went to a bar next to my favorite Japanese restaurant. I figured that there was no cocktail in there, so I made up my mind to order either juice or shake. As if the unsuccessful search for margarita wasn’t enough to ANNOY me, there were no non-alcoholic beverages in that bar! (Chan had to run to the nearest 7-Eleven to buy juice in can for me.) Dumbfounded, I asked my husband: “How can you call this one a bar, it doesn’t even serve juice?”
“In Korea, we don’t go to the bar to drink juice,” he said, “we go to the bar to drink alcohol (and get drunk).”
- Video: How to Make A Margarita (drinks.seriouseats.com)
- 22 Ways To Use Summer Fruit in Cocktails (drinks.seriouseats.com)
- Easy cocktail making – Margarita (johnlewis.com)
- Classic Margarita Recipe & Classic Margarita | Pottery Barn (potterybarn.com)
- Blue Margarita & Blue Margarita Recipe | Pottery Barn (potterybarn.com)
- Coconut Margaritas (thespohrsaremultiplying.com)
- The ULTIMATE NYC Margarita Map (refinery29.com)
- A Margarita is more than just a cocktail (calmyourbeans.com)
- Margarita Recipes & Christmas Margaritas | Pottery Barn (potterybarn.com)