Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Summertime Drinks

It's Just Too Damned Hot For Whiskey Drinkin'!

It finally topped 100 degrees in this neck o' the woods. It's officially hot enough to parboil a gunnysack full of armadillos in a galvanized horse trough.

I'm usually a brown liquor drinker, but when the thermometer starts to climb, I put away the scotch and bourbon bottles in a cool dark place, and start mixing summer drinks.

Here's three of my favorite summertime cocktails. I don't measure to the ounce when I'm mixing them, preferring a more casual approach. If these proportions seem a bit strong for your taste/body mass, keep the same recipe, just do it in a smaller glass!

Gin & Tonic

15 years ago, you couldn't get near me with a gin bottle. Hated the stuff, and sneered at those who drank it. Ah, youth.

One scorching summer day following a shameful attempt at completing 18 holes of golf, I staggered into the 19th Hole, gasping and croaking at the bartender to get me any cold liquid. He took my random arm flailings as a sign I wanted what the other customers were having, and set a tall drink in front of me.

I was quickly revived by the tasty cool liquid. A masterful concoction that engaged every part of the tongue. Sweet, yet tangy. Floral and fizzy. A touch of the bitter, balanced by the citrus. Amazingly good hooch! I've been eagerly drinking them ever since.

In a tall glass packed with ice (and I mean packed!), fill to the 1/3 level with good gin. I like Bombay Sapphire, but use Plymouth and Gordon's as well. Tanqueray and Beefeater are a bit too "ginny" for a G&T, IMHO.

Squeeze half a lime over the ice & gin, then fill to the top with tonic water. Toss in a lime slice to garnish, and you're good to go!

Tequila Sunrise

If I could only have one kind of alcoholic drink for the rest of my life, the Tequila Sunrise would be a likely contender. It's a good getting-started drink, an excellent maintain-the-buzz drink, and works well as a winding-down drink. As a hair-of-the-dog drink, though, it's the very best there is!

Now, there's all kinds of tequilas and OJ's available, but to make El Capitan happier than a puppy piddling on paper, here's how you make one...

In a hurricane glass or a balloon winestem, fill halfway with ice. Pour enough Gran Centenario Reposado tequila to about halfway cover the ice cubes. Trust me on the amount, it's less tequila than it looks like.

Pour in enough Minute Maid Pulp Free orange juice to almost fill the glass. You need to leave enough room to stir without spilling.

Get your bottle of Rose's Grenadine Syrup, and pour one good-sized splash dead center in your glass. Stir just once or twice, enough to get the orange and red colors mingling.

Sit back and watch the sunrise as you get slowly schnockered!


This last drink I have to be cautious with. I have a bad habit of not keeping track of how much rum I've consumed until it's far too late. So, one or two of these is all I'll have.

Dark rums, demerara rums and añejo rums tend to overpower a mojito, it's best to stick with a white rum or a light gold variety.

In a big sturdy glass, cover the bottom with a layer of superfine sugar. Go outside to your garden hose faucet, and pluck 3 or 4 good-sized mint sprigs from your mint plant. If you've neglected to plant mint around your faucets, you should be ashamed of yourself!

Place the mint sprigs in the bottom of the glass, and get out your muddler. No muddler? Well, just use your spice pestle (after washing it!) or the handle of a wooden spoon.

Gently grind ("muddle") the mint leaves into the sugar. This releases the aromatic oils. After a dozen muddles or so, squeeze half a lime into the glass and muddle around a bit more.

Fill the glass with crushed ice. Pour in light rum to about 1/3 of the way up the glass, then finish filling the glass with club soda. Stir just a bit, then serve. I like using mint sprigs, lime slices and strips of fresh sugar cane as a garnish.

Cheers! L'chaim! Prosit! Salud! Skål! Sláinte!