Keith Davis Brings ‘Nervous Breakdown’ Margarita Mix to Dan’s Taste of Summer

nervous breakdown margarita
Photo: Oliver Peterson

Golden Pear Café founder Keith E. Davis’s aha moment came in the form of a “nervous breakdown”—as easy as, “three-two-one.”

Last summer he had a rough time during a particular game of golf and retired to the club’s bar afterward. To cure his “nervous breakdown,” the bartender mixed him a drink, Keith’s favorite pink margarita. “Keith’s nervous breakdown” became a running joke with his close friends.

Opinions are divided on just how much tequila Davis had imbibed last October when the clouds parted and he hit on the idea of producing his own, high-quality margarita mix. As he says, “Tequila is different from any other spirit. There’s a place in the mind that gets opened.”

Davis visited the Dan’s Papers offices in Southampton last Thursday after business hours to whip up sample margaritas for staff using his new bottled Keith’s Nervous Breakdown Ultra Premium Margarita Mix. As he salted rims and mixed 3 parts mix to 2 parts tequila and 1 part Cointreau, he explained how agave piña nectar is rendered into tequila and sweetener through slow roasting the heart of the plant in massive clay ovens and how this process creates nuances of flavor and scent in the products. But our staff was distracted and enthralled by the drinks in little plastic glasses, the pretty pink color garnished with lime and orange. As we drank it down, no one disagreed with Davis’s assertion that “premium tequila needs a premium mix!” His is delicious and made with all natural juices—cranberry, lime, orange and pomegranate.

You can try it for yourself at any of the Dan’s Taste of Summer events—Dan’s GrillHampton on Friday, July 22; Dan’s Taste of Two Forks presented by Farrell Building Company on Saturday, July 23; ClambakeMTK at Gurney’s Montauk on July 30; and Dan’s Harvest East End on August 20.

Who doesn’t love a margarita? As Davis says, “Salt, sweet, sour—you got all three of ’em, that’s why the margarita is the most popular cocktail!” Right now you can purchase the mix at Golden Pear Cafés and online at

You’ll want to get yours right away as the original bottle is about to become a collectors item. Next week the bottles will sport a redesigned label.

As Davis says, “I think it’s a home run. The brand, the product, it works.” Look for Davis driving around the East End in his newly painted 1957 Chevy station wagon. As Davis says, this is “the original Suburban—this is perfect, this is the Nervous Breakdown vehicle.”

Yes, there is a frozen version of Keith’s Nervous Breakdown currently in development and next up are his premium mixes for cosmos and a Hamptons rum punch, both due out in the fall.

Dan’s Taste of Summer kicks off with Dan’s GrillHampton on Friday, July 22, and continues on Saturday, July 23, with Dan’s Taste of Two Forks presented by Farrell Building Company, both on the waterfront at Fairview Farm at Mecox, 19 Horsemill Lane, Bridgehampton. New to the lineup this year is the oceanfront food and drink fest ClambakeMTK at Gurney’s Montauk, 290 Old Montauk Highway in Montauk on July 30. Dan’s Harvest East End, the can’t-miss food and wine classic, rounds out the series on August 20 at McCall Vineyard and Ranch, 22600 Main Road, Cutchogue. For tickets and more information on all Dan’s Taste of Summer events, visit

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