The year was 1974. Scott Snyder rounded up Kirk Dougherty and myself for a trip down the Baja peninsula. We planned to ‘go all the way’; Cabo San Lucas. With our surf boards loaded and camping gear in the back we were off.
We were checking the surf outside of a little town named Ejido Erendira. Driving south out of town and ascending one of the many arroyos the Chevy Apache 10 suddenly let out a loud clank and rolled backwards to the bottom of the arroyo.
It took us some time to figure out that the right axle had broken. It took us a few days with our limited tools to remove the axle. So there we were, living in a ditch. Nights were spent drinking beer and tequila (of course).
I was not too fond of drinking straight tequila. After a few shots I decided to test my chemistry class lessons and poured some tequila into my Corona to see if it would float. It is supposed to float, alcohol being lighter than water, right? It floated. Next I decided to test the lime juice and discovered a colloidal suspension. Hey, it looked like a fog?!
Chugging the tequila/limed topped Corona I discovered it tasted damn good. Soon everybody was trying it out and we all agreed it was an improvement on straight shots.
Returning to the USA, my Baja compañeros and I naturally shared this amazing discovery with anybody who would listen. Baja Fogs became a popular drink with the staff and locals at Jasper’s Saloon in the Fairview Shopping Center of Goleta, California. OK, I bar tended there. It was a no brain er. Moving from the Santa Barbara area up north to the mountains and snow, I put away my surf board and picked up a pair of skiis; Rossingnol SM 220cm. Bar tending again, this time for the Rafters restaurant, the Baja Fog extended its grip on sporting humanity. From there further north into June Lake, where The Sierra Inn gained the pleasure of my bar tending talents. Finally, things really kicked off when I moved and settled in Cambria California on California’s Central Coast. I shared the Baja Fog with the staff and locals of Mustache Pete’s Italian Eatery. I waited tables there.
Clay Feeter Makes the Fog Famous
An issue of Clay Feeters magazine West Coast Windsurfing prominently featured the Baja Fog. A photo I snapped of my best friend Dave Buddy and brother in law Rob Wilson, drinking and driving down Baja 1. I think that was legal back in the 70’s. We had an unofficial rule of two cases of Corona per person and one liter of tequila when ever we would leave any town where we had stopped for supplies. Being able to score fresh limes was a bonus. Guerro Negro was alway the best stop for fresh fruits and veggies, plus they had a big Pemex station there where the odds of getting Dave’s Toyota and Jan and I’s Vanagon filled up were much greater than in lesser towns. Oh, lets not forget the dulces and pasteles 🙂
When I left that job and moved on to The West End Bar and Grille I naturally shared my discover there too. It wasn’t long until every bar in town knew the recipe for a Baja Fog. This was due in large part to my good surfing/windsurfing pal Carl Radke who enjoyed Baja Fogs and Cambria bars.
Windsurfing became the thing to do and was the primary reason we had moved to Cambria. Every fall my wife Jan Baby and I would pilgrimage back down to Baja, spending a good month or two and hitting all the sailing spots. We had a blast in Punta San Carlos. I think it was there we met Kevin Trejo of Solo Sport Adventures. He too became a big Baja Fog fan.
Several years had gone by since I’d been to Baja so Jan Baby (the wife) and I loaded up the new Vanagon with all our toys and the dog and headed south. We made one of our favorite destinations, Bahia de Los Angeles, or LA Bay for short. Our first night there we ended up chatting about the pletora of sting rays in the bay with a cute young asian woman who was camping near by. Jan and I invited her to have a cocktail and when I started pouring the tequila into the neck of the Corona she burst out: “Your making Baja Fogs!”
The Baja Fog has come full circle back to me. Here was somebody from northern California (as I recall) who intimately knew and enjoyed Baja Fogs. Sometime later I discovered my recipe in an online bartenders guide; that says it all.
Flipping AWESOME! I often tell the story of meeting Flash and Jan and having my first Baja Fog in Punta San Carlos way back when! (I don’t even remember the year) We’ve been enjoying them ever since and turning on as many people as possible! The Baja Fog is definitely the most popular drink in our Punta San Carlos Solace Lounge followed by Neil Foley’s awesome Margaritas!
Thanks Flash as I never really new the whole story of the birth of the Fog but will always remember your and Jan’s incredible hospitality and our first Baja Fog with you all! Thanks and long live the Baja Fog! KT~
Yo Kevin, Thank you for your kind words. How many years ago was that? Twenty, thirty? Jan Baby and I just had our 25th wedding anniversary; can you believe that? I’ve been thinking about taking up paragliding, what do you think. Have you stuck your toe in that water?
My husband and I were recently introduced to the baja fog by some friends from Arizona. We live in Albuquerque, NM. I’ve been curious as to if there was a story behind this creative, but simple beverage! I now have my parents (who are in their 70’s) also enjoying the baja fog!!!
Uh, didn’t you read the post you just commented on? It tells the story.