In my first porch cocktails post, I professed my love for a refreshing G&T. I also mentioned that I was in the midst of crafting some homemade tonic syrup in an effort to spruce up my go-to summer indulgence. Even with memories of this hilarious, disastrous saga in the back of my mind, I was itching to make my own tonic. I’m not one to be scared off by horror stories of DIY gone wrong. In fact, anecdotes like these have been known to encourage me. So, I found a recipe through David Lebovitz’ blog, and hunted down my ingredients, adapting the recipe to suit my needs.
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.
What says summer afternoons on the porch like a gin & tonic? It’s the perfect drink to have in hand while I lounge and read, which is the inspiration for my summer porch cocktails series. Sadly, I’ve finished my spring stash of the stellar nectar that is Hendrick’s gin. It was a wonderful transition into summer, and made even a standard weeknight cocktail feel like a treat. Now that I’ve taken off my academic hat in favor of a little summer downtime, though, I’m embracing less formal concoctions. I stumbled upon this WSJ article—with tons of suggestions for upgrading a G&T—just as I was transitioning from my favorite spring cocktails to their summer cousins. I was inspired to experiment, so I sampled a few G&Ts made with Hendrick’s gin and Fentiman’s tonic. They were incredibly delicious—with more complex botanical flavors and less sweetness—but I don’t find that their undoubted superiority warrants the steep price of the ingredients. A humble combination of Seagram’s extra dry gin and Canada Dry tonic is perfectly acceptable, in my opinion. I pay this drink the same respect I would its pricier counterpart, and find the ritual equally enjoyable.
The past few weeks have been unimaginably hectic! I’m used to functioning at full throttle, but not like this. I finished up my own classwork earlier in the month, and wrapped up my work for the class I was teaching around the same time. Then came a week of graduation ceremonies and all of the school and family celebrations that accompanied them. I spent the following week moving out of my apartment, and cursing myself for accumulating such an ungodly quantity of stuff in a third floor walk-up. Finally, I brought the month to a close by performing bridesmaid duties for my friend Ellen at Pretty Neutral. All the while, I’ve been keeping up with the endless administrative requirements for my upcoming first year in veterinary school. Read more