We ask a lot of our small but mighty family of contributors. As they are tasked each month with running around the largest city in the contiguous United States (suck it Sitka, Alaska!) and surrounding regions to capture through photos and words Northeast Florida’s current zeitgeist–its people, places, and cultural phenomena–I often wonder makes them do what they do and do it so well. A need to create? Vanity, perhaps? (I kid, of course). 

What’s clear, at least for this month’s issue, is that our humble group of photogs and scribes know how to have a good time. It’s our annual Drink Issue, after all. And if you can’t imbibe in a little fun via the pages of this issue, we’re doing it wrong.

Bound By Water columnist Michael Adno, whose love for water-loving, liquid-lunch preferring literary icons knows no bounds, seemingly found a perfect foil in the daiquiri. He recounts how the drink made it from the old world to the new one, and then into the hands of the famed author and macho, marlin-wrangling boozehound, Ernest Hemingway, before its present-day strawberry-infused bastardization. While our modern world of hookup-Apps may have rendered the wing-man virtually obsolete, Darby Moore explores the emergence of the pet as Northeast Floridian’s preferred accomplice in her piece “(Wo)man’s Best Drinking Buddy”.

Contributor Darby More wrote about the trend of dog-friendly watering holes. Photo: Cole LoCurto

Among other features included herein, we dive into the earnest, perhaps irony-fueled reemergence of Yacht Rock with a locally tinged playlist of tunes sure to rock the boat this summer (“Why Yacht?”). And we attempt to filter out the artificial and the non-essential to create the simplest and bestest margarita possible (“The Margarita: Simplified”).

Our humble group of photogs and scribes know how to have a good time.

Meanwhile, it’s due to the excellent work of our crack team of photogs that we’re able to provide a platform for those who stand out behind the bar in our “Pour-Files”. Cole LoCurto and Jesse Brantman shot the bulk of this one, which this year was an especially stiff pour.

From our Pour-File of Nighthawks (p. 46). Photo: Cole LoCurto

While we’re talking lensmen, renowned Northeast Florida photographer Dennis Ho also contributed pictures to this issue. A former photo editor at Folio Weekly and an ace photojournalist, Ho’s work is widely respected and we can’t wait for you to put your eyes on more of it in future issues.

Tyler Benfield of Hoptinger (p. 30). Photo: Cole LoCurto

Certainly not every issue can be as fun as this one. So if you see one of our contributors out in the wild, be sure to buy them a drink. Lord knows they’ve earned it!

As always, thanks for putting your eyeballs on our magazine.