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Can We Make Preparadas the Summer Cocktail? 

click to enlarge JESSICA ELIZARRARAS
  • Jessica Elizarraras
Hear me out. Let’s make preparadas our summer drink of choice.

This Fiesta season, when temperatures crawled to the high 80s, low 90s and I stood in line for chicken on a stick/a turkey leg/steer on a stick, sweet scents of watermelon and green apple wafted through the air.

The source? Plastic 24-ounce cups filled to the brim with Smirnoff preparadas. Having never enjoyed one in my 14 years as a San Antonio resident, I asked several NIOSA-goers to point me in the direction of the preparada booth. Though I found my sweet oasis in the “South of the Border” booth, it turns out La Villita held three preparada operations, each with a different Smirnoff wine cooler (I enjoyed the watermelon, but there was also green apple and strawberry).

The drink — made up of ice, chamoy, fruit, wine cooler and chile salt on the rim — was the antidote to the humid night, and I wasn’t the only San Antonian who thought so.

“We exceeded last year’s numbers on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday,” booth chairman Ruben Tellez Jr. said.

His Watermelon Smirnoff Preparada booth, staffed by more than a dozen people, prepared more than 5,000 cups of the stuff, and it’s easy to see why. It’s the sweet counterpart to the savory michelada, and just as easy to modify and customize.

“It’s cold and refreshing, and we had all the key elements needed to sell out,” Tellez said.

He’s used to the crowds by now, having manned the NIOSArita booth and the frozen margarita booth in his 15 years as a volunteer with the San Antonio Conservation Society.

Tellez shared his recipe for a tasty preparada, but if Smirnoff isn’t your jam, it’s easy enough to switch out for a cider or sour to create a beer cocktail that’s just as refreshing.

So many restaurants, so little time. Find out the latest San Antonio dining news with our Flavor Friday Newsletter.

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