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Magic: The Traveling

A Magic: the Gathering travel blog
Finding MtG in the most unlikely places

Quest of the Everflowing Chalice (of Rum)

Magic the Gathering Card: Everflowing ChaliceA marble plaque on Fortazela St. marks the location of a now-defunct hotel that claims to have invented the Pina Colada in 1968 – the drink became the official beverage of Puerto Rico 10 years later.

A forward-thinking invention indeed, the can’t-taste-the-alcohol perfection of pineapple, coconut and Bacardi leaves you staring with bleary happiness into an empty glass and posing the eternal and pressing question: why, o why, is the rum gone?

The Quest Rules: Drink exactly one Pina Colada and play precisely one game of MtG in each of 4 Old San Juan get-drunkeries. Decks are chosen at random from the deck box. The same player can’t play the same deck twice.

Pina Coladas are graded on an entirely arbitrary 1-10 scale of personal opinion, and ranked according to standard “how buzzed we’re feeling right now” factors.

Establishment: no name?, Corner of Calle San Fransisco & Calle Del Cristo
Decks: Elves (Kendra) vs. Dragons (Kyle)
Winner: Kyle
Pina Colada Rating: 7.2

As far as we could tell, this hole in the wall didn’t have a name, save a promotional sign outside reading “Frozen Fruit Drinks”. Kind of appropriate, really – save three barstools, three outdoor tables, and a whole lot of liquor, there isn’t much call for a proper noun. Pina Coladas were tasty and comparatively inexpensive ($6.00 a pop) but a little melty – the crushed ice had mostly disintegrated from the short trip between the blender and my mouth.

Establishment: Patio de Sam, San Sebastian St.
Decks: Vampires (Kendra) vs. Sacrifice Deck (Kyle)
Winner: Kendra
Pina Colada Rating: 8.1

Holy mother of yum. Patio de Sam looks like your standard upscale sports bar – long varnished wooden counter tops, nice looking munch menu, and an interior open-air Spanish-style patio. The pina coladas were a hands down fav, with a sprig of mint, a light splash of grenadine and some unidentifiable tropical aftertaste. Would have given this an 8.5, except for the part where the bartender totally stole our 20-sided spin-down life counter and then was all, “huh, weird – did you drop it?”

Establishment: Old SJ Food Court, North side of Plaza Colon
Decks: Sunburst (Kendra) vs. Espers (Kyle)
Winner: Kyle
Pina Colada Rating: 5.5

Apparently, the “best Pina Colada Smoothies in the UNIVERSE” come blandly blended in a plastic cup. More of a “can’t make it another block without rum” type of drink, these budget cocktails are five bucks each, no credit cards accepted. Look for the smoothie & empanadas vendor – first stall in the Old SJ Food Court.

Establishment: The Patio at El Convento
Decks: Artifacts (Kendra) vs. The Green Machine (Kyle)
Winner: Kendra
Pina Colada Rating: 7.9

The Patio is a fancy-shmancy Spanish courtyard bar inside El Convento hotel on Cll Del Cristo, complete with arched open-air walkways, terracotta tiles and waterfalls of hanging plants. Definitely the strongest draught of the bunch, this pineapple-garnished pina colada loses out to Patio de Sam on a slim margin of creativity.

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