NORTH SALEM, N.Y. - It’s a twist on an old saying, but when life hands you limes, make margaritas.

Making events special. Enjoying others enjoying the perfectly concocted cocktail. Those are two big things—other than his growing family—that Andrew Tapia says he’s passionate about.

But what is an adult beverage catering consultant to do when the plug has literally been pulled on the hospitality industry?

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Tapia was getting set to roll out his new venture, Pouring Rein Mobile Bar, when the pandemic struck.

The name is a nod to the former New York City man’s newly adopted community, the very equine North Salem. It’s also a tribute to the certified sommelier and advanced mixologist’s wife, Samantha, a special education teacher he met, and later married, in the pouring rain. The paean goes on; their 2-year-old daughter is named Hudson Rein; their infant son, Asher Storm.

The couple had converted a vintage horse trailer in the hopes of deploying the traveling tavern at large events such as weddings, backyard parties, corporate events and brand promotions.

Margarita mavens, the couple had keyed the soft launch to Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican holiday celebrated on May 5, which also happens to be National Teacher’s Day.

Many of the young family’s new friends and neighbors are teachers, as well as first responders such as firefighters, doctors, nurses, police officers and others at the forefront of the COVID-19 fight who, frankly, could use a stiff drink at the end of a hideously stressful day.

The Tapias said their spirits were lifted seeing neighbors helping neighbors during the crisis. Food was being distributed to the hungry. Masks were being sewn. The elderly checked on.

“There are so many heroes out there right on the frontlines right now putting themselves and their families at risk so we can all stay safe and try to go on with our lives,” Tapia, a Stamford, Conn., native who had been in the hospitality biz for 22 years, said in a Facebook post. “These heroes deserve our appreciation. We can all do a little to thank these heroes every day.”

So they rallied—in their own inimitable fashion.

And what’s better than a nice frozen libation made with premium 100 percent blue agave Tequila, the highest quality orange liqueur, “farm fresh” limes and lots of “love and gratitude?”

A margarita that’s delivered right to your front door, that’s what. The only thing lacking is a salted rim, but, hey, that’s hard to include in a sealed pouch.

The Tapias, who put out the offer of a free thank-you cocktail via North Salem Moms on Facebook, planned to deliver them on Cinco de Mayo to the first 25 local heroes who asked. But the buzz was so great they received more than 75 requests—from those in towns all over northern Westchester and even in Connecticut.

Besides teachers and first responders, occupations ran the gimlet—er, gamut—from grocery store clerks, “generous” neighbors and delivery truck drivers, to restaurant, farm, sanitation and warehouse workers.

“The response was overwhelming,” said Tapia, adding that the couple was happy to “go above and beyond” and drop off a margarita to everyone 21 and older “who deserved it.”

Afterward, they asked recipients to post their pictures—preferably in their work duds—and awarded a second drink to the ones who submitted the “first,” “best” and “funniest” sipping moment.

The Tapias, in honor of teachers and Mother’s Day, also conducted a contest asking moms to reveal their homeschooling tales of woe—or joy.

Samantha Tapia was inspired to do this after reading posts on the Facebook group The Real Housewives of Homeschooling, a forum “for anyone to share their funny experiences or memes” about the experience.

“We are going to be at this for a while, so we might as well laugh along the way,” the group said.

The Tapias were hard at work Friday, May 8, whipping up a huge batch of rosé wine sangria with heart-shaped strawberries that they hoped to deliver to the winners of the second contest before Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 10.

Pouring Rein Mobile Bar is still being put through its paces and will hit the road sometime in June. It will serve cocktails, beer and wine on tap, which, Tapia said, “is the most sanitary way to offer a beverage.”

But people now can also order large batches of premade cocktails to squirrel away in their fridges.

“The thing I love the most about events is having people come together,” the galloping entrepreneur said.

“With this pandemic, we’re restricted from bonding with our loved ones. I look forward to being able to safely help bring people together and being a part of their events.”  

If the masses can’t come to the margarita, then the margarita must go to the masses. That’s just horse sense.

Here’s to better days. Cheers!

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