The weather warnings are already in effect, and I’m kicking us for not buying that goddamned air conditioner when we saw it on sale last December. It’s going to be a hot one they say, a scorcher! It’s already hot.
Summer struck the west coast before it struck a lot of places – we’re running out of berries during what would otherwise be the beginning of berry season. Cats everywhere have been wilting for weeks. Last week a pigeon flew into our apartment through one of the wide-open windows and I thought we’d have to leave everything behind and move. And the air outside is all flowers and barbecue smoke and cigarettes and wet concrete, and my neighbours on this busy apartment block are stripping down, nude or nearly nude flesh visible in every uncovered window. It would all be very sexy if I was younger, or if I had that air conditioner.
The feeling of my skin on my skin is, at times, unbearable. Now is not the time to talk about berry smoothies or fresh-pressed juice. Oh, it’s blender-drink time, to be sure, but I’m not longing for some ascetic mix of ice and fibre that’s not going to take me anywhere.
Gin me, is what I’m saying. And I don’t even really like gin.
(There was a summer, and there were four friends from high school and boys from somewhere else and Cultus Lake and gin and the feeling that I was going to live forever followed very quickly by the feeling that I was going to die of gin poisoning and my parents would have to come pick me up from an unmarked spot off a logging road where a boy named Monty who had nipple rings would have had to explain everything. In summary, gin and I have some history.)
These are sticky, sweaty times and times like these call for cold, sweet drinks. I’ve told you about my lazy go-to, my shameful sangria, but this new thing is even better. It’s called medias de seda, and it tastes like some vague memory I can’t place, a little like vanilla and malted milk and something else. It’s sweet and creamy and just the right shade of pink.
My parents brought this cocktail back from Mexico, from Puerto Vallarta maybe, and it’s as decadent as a milkshake and just as pink. I guess it kind of is a milkshake, but a very adult kind of milkshake and if you are lucky someone else will make it for you while you dip your feet into a pool of cold water. It could be a pool like you might find in Puerto Vallarta, or it could be a turtle-shaped kiddie pool filled with hose water and your naked toddler and several dozen bath toys in your parents’ back yard; the important thing is that you make this drink your excuse to sit and cool off. My dad tinkered with the recipe so that it serves two, probably to sedate my mom and me at the same time.
Here’s to your hot, sticky summer. Gin you.
Medias de seda
- 1 1/2 oz. gin
- 1 1/2 oz. creme de cacao
- 3/4 oz. grenadine
- 2 cups ice cubes
- 1 1/2 oz. light cream or half-and-half
Combine gin, creme de cacao, grenadine and ice cubes in a blender and blend until smooth. Add cream or half-and-half, and blend until combined. Divide evenly between two glasses. Marvel that this is kind of like an Orange Julius. But like, with gin. A Gin Julius! Repeat yourself in case no one heard you. Find yourself hilarious while you cool your overheated body in a patch of shade with your feet in some cold water.
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