It’s right about now that summer fatigue begins to set in and take hold. We’ve “tolerated” hot, humid weather now for over two months and we are ready for something a bit cooler.
It’s’ not like we have much of a choice in the matter, although many New Orleanians head to the East Coast to gain a little altitude and a couple of degrees on the lighter side of the thermometer. Many New Orleanians also head to the beach where the temperatures are a bit more moderate and the breezes off of the Gulf make it seem more comfortable.
It’s not that we are completely unhappy with New Orleans’ summer. After all, when compared to winters that occur just to the north of us and all the way into Canada, we are not shoveling sunshine nor sliding our cars around on a sheet of ice. Not ever, thank you.
However, when the temperature continues, for weeks on end, to hover around 86 degrees and it’s 3 a.m., well, that gets old after a while. There is no meteorological relief. And I’m guessing that you’ve never met a New Orleanian who did not believe that air conditioning is one of the true miracles of the Machine Age.
Here’s’ the not-so-good news: we have a few more weeks to go on this heat/humidity pattern.
There is a point to all of this, which is that many of you are rushing the much-anticipated cool season. Remember, it’s not winter.
Breaking out the heavy artillery of big, bold wines, high alcohol liqueurs, and barley-laden IPA beers at this time are a bit like celebrating Thanksgiving simultaneously with Halloween. Your timing is “off.”
At everyplace else, the beverages featured below are summer delights. You know that they are still right and proper around here now.
A tart-sweet treat for 2, and only 5 minutes prep time
- 1/2 c. blackberries
- handful fresh mint leaves
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 c. light rum
- Crushed ice
- club soda
- In a small bowl, muddle blackberries. Set aside.
- Place mint leaves in bottom of glasses. Divide and spoon blackberry mixture on top.
- Add rum, sugar, and lime juice and stir to combine. Top with crushed ice.
- Add club soda and garnish with mint leaves and more blackberries.
A big and cool note of thanks to delish, Ryan Handler, 2017
Okay, now let’s try something really easy. I mean really. Cranberry infused vodka, either store-bought or you make your own. Nice bit of ice, tonic, and a good dollop of lime. Plenty of pleasure, fast, and hard to screw up. If another flavor of vodka is your favorite, go with it.
Often, in a cocktail, more booze is the right answer. And the Long Island Iced Tea is a year-round pleaser.
Long Island Iced Tea
As it should be served.
- 3/4 Ounce(s) Vodka
- 3/4 Ounce(s) Blanco tequila
- 3/4 Ounce(s) Gin
- 3/4 Ounce(s) Light Rum
- 3/4 Ounce(s) Triple Sec
- 1/2 Ounce(s) Simple Syrup
- 1/2 Ounce(s) Fresh lemon juice
- Cola, as needed
- Lemon wedge
- Shake ingredients, except cola, with ice and pour with ice into highball glass.
- Add cola for color.
- Add lemon.
- Serve in a Highball Glass.
Many thanks to Mr. Boston Drinks, a subsidiary of our own Sazerac Co.
Read Happy Hour here on www.myneworleans.com on Wednesdays, and listen to The Dine, Wine and Spirits Show, hosted by Tim, every weekday, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. on WGSO 990AM and streamed, as well as stored (podcast), at www.wgso.com. Also, check out Last Call, Tim’s photo-feature about cocktails every month in New Orleans Magazine.