It’s so important to stay hydrated in the summer. If the only way to achieve this is to drink too much and then spend the next day guzzling water to try to wash your headache away, then so be it! Therefore, in the name of health, and because Eve Tushnet’s post about ice cream sodas reminded me about drinking, here are a few of our favorite summer drinks:
1. THE ANGRY PIRATE
Sometimes known, by people who actually know the names of drinks, as DARK AND STORMY. (Also occasionally called STORMY NIGHT, which is actually a different drink, which please don’t drink. It sounds revolting.) Call it what you like, and keep on protesting that you’re truly, truly not trying to be cute, it’s just that your mind is going, and what’s so funny about that? Either way, it’s easy to make and very refreshing.
Put ice in glass. Pour in two oz. dark rum, 3 oz. ginger beer, and the juice of maybe half a lime, and stir.
We use Gosling’s Black Seal rum, but I imagine it would be fine with other brands of dark rum. And yes, we make it with ginger ale if we can’t find ginger beer, and we somehow manage to muscle our ways to the bottom of the glass.
Now that the craze is over and people have stopped going all “Oooh, mojito, mojito!” all the time, you can safely drink this lovely concoction just because it’s great, and not because you need to use those mason jars with pictures of mustaches on them that you bought on clearance at the G.D. Hipster Warehouse.
This one is a teensy bit more complicated, so it’s best to make a whole pitcher of it ahead of time. I have a round-bottomed, thick glass pitcher with a cobalt blue rim that makes me feel SO FANCY, and it’s perfect for a big batch of mojitos. Last time we used it, I didn’t even notice that the soles of my Tevas were puffing up like Mickey Mouse shoes because my feet were too close to the campfire. That’s how good mojitos are!And there’s so much green crap floating around in there, is practically a salad.
The recipe (this will make two drinks – expand as needed)
In a shaker, lightly muddle about 15 mint leaves. Add about an ounce-and-a-half of simple syrup, the same amount of lime juice, and three ounces of white rum and three ounces of club soda. Dump in some ice and shake. Pour unstrained into glasses. Garnish with a lime wedge and another mint sprig if you like.
UPDATE: Matt Yonke makes this suggestion, and he’s totally right:
“I highly recommend mixing all the ingredients BUT the soda first, then top each drink with soda and stir lightly. You’re bashing up all the carbonation if you shake it with the others.
That’s super essential if you’re making a pitcher since you don’t want to be drinking hours old, flat club soda at the end of the pitcher. Fresh soda in every drink makes all the difference.”
3. GIN AND TONIC
This is not really a summer drink, it’s just a drink for the ages. Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is get most of it in the glass and you’re set. So accommodating.
Come on, you can figure this out.
My research: Terroir is the finest gin experience my mouth has ever known. Tanqueray is great if we have the cash. Bombay costs about the same as Tanqueray and is fine, maybe a teensy bit less smooth. New Amsterdam is drinkable, and even comes in a surprisingly glass bottle. Seagrams, you might as well start throwing up now before you even get to the cash register.
4. WHISKEY SOUR
You don’t hear much about whiskey sours anymore. There’s no reason for this, especially if you have someone in the house who doesn’t really like whiskey, but on the other hand, the kids are in bed. You can get complicated with egg whites and sugared glass rims, but really you just need to make a bit of strong lemonade and throw some whiskey in there. A maraschino cherry will just slow you down.
Now hear this: Wild Turkey tastes fine. It really does!
5. THE SECOND CHILDHOOD
Fill up a blender with ice cubes, chop ‘em up somewhat, then fill it up again with whatever kind of ice cream you like, plus a few generous glugs of Kahlua, and blend again until the ice is in little nubbins. Find a big cup and a big straw.
What, you’re too sophisticated? Shut up, I’ll make you another.
FOR THE KIDDIES:
6. EGG CREAM
An essential part of my rich Brooklyn heritage. Possibly an acquired taste because it’s not terribly sweet, but it’s deeply refreshing.
In a tall glass, pour an inch or so of milk or cream. Squirt in a ton of chocolate syrup and mix, until it’s so sweet you’d never drink it on its own. Fill up the rest of the glass with plain seltzer (pour slowly, over a spoon if necessary, because it works up a huge head). Gulp gulp gulp. Resume complaining, “Oy, was I toisty!”
I’ll let the master have the final word: