Lest you fear that I’m indulging too often, I’m here to share the lovely non-alcoholic cocktail I’ve been enjoying at least as frequently as my go-to G&T. A dash of elderflower cordial in a tall glass of soda water is a great midday refresher. Concocting this delicious “mocktail” is as simple as drizzling some elderflower cordial over a glass of iced soda water, and stirring to distribute the cordial evenly. Each sip is sweet, zesty and floral–bursting with the bright, crisp flavors of summer–and finishes with a pleasantly yeasty aroma.
I’ve never been so enamored of a daily sight as I was of this one. During the quarter that I spend studying abroad, I regularly watched fleeting, equatorial sunsets from the lawn of the Universidad Nacional de Guinea Ecuatorial. My classmates and I had a daily break from late afternoon to early evening. In those hours, the sun and the heat retreated just enough to make the stifling, soupy air feel fresh again. It was the perfect time to sprawl on the grass and take in the play of burning light on the fluffy, dense clouds that perpetually threatened rain.
I’m not here to talk about the half-hearted brownish beverage that comes from a standard pot. I enjoy bold, black coffee, and I prefer to make it in a device as straightforward and aggressive as the brew it produces. That’s where the Bialetti Moka Express comes in. Its sharp, geometric lines and no-nonsense style encapsulate everything that it embodies. It’s the most simple and aesthetically pleasing way to make a shockingly strong cup of coffee.
In an effort to make time for one of my favorite activities, I’ve challenged myself to read 50 books in 2016. I’m keeping track of my progress on Goodreads, and sneakily picking up recommendations from my friends’ shelves, too. Before the start of my summer break, I had read 37 books. Thanks to a few languid afternoons with a porch cocktail in hand, I’m now at 40. I hope to meet my goal by the end of the summer, and maybe even increase my goal for the rest of the year. I have no idea what my first semester in vet school will do to my free time, though, so maybe that’s just wishful thinking.