Photos and Words By Gaige Davila
South Padre Parade
Louisiana has made its mark on South Padre Island, in the form of a familiar drink served in an unfamiliar way, served to-go.
Island Daiquiris 2 Go is now serving frozen cocktails just off South Padre Island’s entertainment district, with old favorites and new flavors for beachgoers and pregamers.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas has allowed restaurants to serve alcohol to-go for customers picking up their meals. For Alayna Villarreal, owner of Island Daiquiris 2 Go, the timing couldn’t have been better.
Inspired by her daughter’s college experience in Louisiana, Villarreal brought the Big Easy to Big Padre.
“One of her favorite things about college was daiquiris, Louisiana daiquiris. So we decided we would bring that to South Padre Island.”
The alcohol is neither a wine or liquor, but a neutral alcohol that’s added into the daiquiri mixes. Because the alcohol has no pronounced flavor (similar to vodka), flavorings are added to the neutral spirit to make it taste like tequila, rum, amaretto or cinnamon liqueur. The alcohol by volume (ABV) is from 9 percent to 16 percent, depending on the drink.
The daiquiris are sealed with tape when they’re sold, legally making them a closed container that can be driven home, so long as they are not opened. The City of South Padre Island prohibits open consumption of alcohol, but the daiquiris, held in plastic containers or Styrofoam cups, can be taken to the beach.
There are 8 original flavors and 4 purees, made from fresh fruits (strawberry, mango, peach and cherry). The menu, which features flavor combinations like pina colada, white Russian and chocolate (Sand Castle) or cherry, lemonade and mango (Starfish), was composed from Villarreal and friends combining flavors and selecting their favorites. Customers are encouraged to make their own combinations of flavors. Eight different margaritas are offered. Next summer, they’ll offer soda and fruit flavored slushies for their non-alcoholic menu.
With cup sizes ranging from 16 to 32 ounces, half-gallon daiquiri bags are available for purchase as well, made to be taken to the beach or frozen for later, where they’ll last around a week.
Villarreal says Island Daiquiris 2 Go is being quickly welcomed.
“We’ve had a great response,” Villarreal said. “We’ve had a lot of acceptance from the locals, they’ve become regulars. We’ve had (people coming from) Canada, Michigan, Iowa and Idaho.”
Though they are not the first to-go daiquiri store in Texas, Villarreal said they are the first to do a hand-crafted, New Orleans-style daiquiri in the Rio Grande Valley. And the Island location will not be alone soon. Villarreal plans to have a drive-through location in the future and expanding Island Daiquiris 2 Go to Harlingen, Brownsville, McAllen and Port Isabel.
Island Daiquiris 2 Go is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m at 2600 Padre Blvd, Suite C.