True to character, Jimmy Buffett’s quarantine has consisted of playing guitar, practicing French and spending time out on the water with his family in southern California.

But one thing it does not include is margaritas. In 2018, the beach bum icon sent shock waves through Margaritaville when he revealed he no longer imbibes his signature drink. Instead, he prefers straight tequila on the rocks, and typically only on weekends.

“Margaritas have gotten very sweet. I like real lime juice; I don’t like a lot of sugar,” Buffett tells USA TODAY. “The other day I was watching ‘Queer Eye’ and they were doing a makeover, and the guy had what he called a Redneck Margarita, which was just bad tequila and Mountain Dew. And I went, ‘That’s way too far, I’d never do that.’ But good tequila and a lime, yes.”

Regardless of what’s under his cocktail umbrella, Buffett is the same master storyteller we’ve known for five decades on new album “Life on the Flip Side,” out Friday, his first album since 2013’s “Songs from St. Somewhere.”

The music is a return to the “Key West phase” of Buffett’s early ’70s albums, which spawned hits including “Come Monday” and “Grapefruit – Juicy Fruit,” and featured playful lyrics about finding love in paradise, years before cheeseburgers hit the menu. The album’s 14 songs cover expected Buffett terrain – lazy beach days (“Who Gets to Live Like This”) and wine-soaked nights (“Half Drunk”) – but also hit on more poignant subjects that resonate differently during a global pandemic.

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