With the hot days of summer slouching towards us, there will be nights when you’ll wish you were elsewhere, contrary to the spirit of this blog. Here’s three liquid ways to get there.
The Pimm’s Cup for when it’s time to close your eyes and think of England.
A good Pimm’s cup should make you feel healthier for drinking it; it’s like a boozy fruit salad, with just enough savory elements to keep it interesting.
Where it takes you: It’s 3:42 p.m. at the summer “cottage” outside Bath, and the butler has just brought out a platter of sandwiches and drinks. In doing so, he’s knocked over a potted topiary, thoroughly interrupting your game of croquet. How Continental of him.
When & Where to have it: Five Leaves in the early afternoon, and never, ever indoors.
There are also various recipes available online, none of which I particularly like. If you make it yourself, resist the urge to make it too boozy, which is what I tended to do, and never skip the cucumbers. Consider adding rosemary as well.
The Negroni because I came to the bar for the air conditioning.
It’s about 11 on a weeknight and you decided to abandon your hopes of getting to sleep early. The heat and humidity has conspired to make turning on your rumpled mattress begin to feel increasingly like a dispassionate tryst with a damp Spongebob, so just short of going completely nuts you find a dark, cold bar to hide in. You need a drink that indulges your newly air-conditioned self in denying how hot it actually is elsewhere and hurts just a little.
Where it takes you: Your pick of bar scenes from the 40’s. Combine it with a slick haircut, a pencil-thin mustache, and some serious delusions and you’ll have your pick of the dames.
When & Where to have it: Evening at The Manhattan Inn. It pairs well with piano music.
I have a newfound love for the michelada because it takes the already fantastic bloody mary and makes it a little more refreshing and a little less thick. They’re a great anytime drink, are cheap to make at home (I contend they’re a bad deal at most bars) and are an excuse to incorporate clam juice into a drink. If that grosses you out, stop now.
Where it takes you: Depending on your attitude towards clam juice and Old Bay, either a salty, windblown pier pierced with crying seagulls and the smell of fried clams, or a spot around back of the clam shack with a friend holding up your hair.
When & Where to have it: My place around noonish. Show up with something from The Lobster Joint and I’ll mix us up a couple. I’ll start with a pint glass full of ice, then add:
1/2 cup tomato juice, I use Knudsen’s organic. Clamato isn’t nearly clammy enough. Gross, I know.
Healthy splash clam juice (I like Bar Harbor, pictured above.)
Juice from 1/8 each lime and lemon
Pinch of crushed black pepper
1/2 tsp. hot horseradish
Old Bay to taste (For me, I taste lots.)
I’ll fill the pint with beer, stir, enjoy, and repeat.
There’s great dissension concerning which beer to use, but I’ve had great success with The Crisp from Sixpoint since it became available in cans. Cheaper options work just fine as well and you could – I guess – forego the clam juice, but just don’t tell me about it.