Friday, September 21, 2012

indian summer

and now we've come to the weird interstitial time between summer and fall. here in texas, summer doesn't really give up the ghost until november sometimes, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to get out the scarves and start wearing boots again. this year, however, i'm trying to stop and enjoy whatever weather we actually have, since it's been a few years since i've experienced a texas fall.

the greatest thing about autumn in texas is cold fronts. the air will be still and sticky and you can't believe it's late september and then all of a sudden there's an electrical charge in the air and the wind starts blowing briskly from the north and the temperature drops 20 degrees in 20 minutes. it's very exciting.

this drink kind of reminds me of that, since it's full of summery gin and citrus and warming spicy ginger. it's refreshing, but not too light. the ginger and the use of the rinds of the citrus gives the whole thing some heft that's usually lacking in summer cocktails. thus it's perfect for this weird liminal time when you don't know what kind of weather the day will bring.

basically you probably need a food processor for this. all you do is cut the citrus into medium-sized chunks, cut the ginger into coins, and blend the whole thing up with some sugar. process it for a minute or so or until everything's well-blended.

then put the delicious sludgy mass into some cheesecloth to strain it. gather up the edges of the cloth and bring them together (if you don't have cheesecloth you could use a really fine strainer, probably).

then just squeeze the juices out as hard as you can. it's quite therapeutic. 

mix a little gin and some club soda and a few tablespoons of the citrus-ginger syrup (it's pretty thick and intense, so go with your tastes), and you have a friendly but assertive drink to keep by your side as we wave goodbye to summer and hello to fall.

*ingredients* (syrup for 6 - 8 drinks or so)
1 lime
1 lemon
1 small orange (i would spring for organic on all of these, since the rinds get included in the drink. no one wants a pesticide cocktail)
~3 inches of fresh ginger root
3/4 - 1 cup sugar

club soda or tonic

instead of what i'm listening to, here's something else i wrote:
it's about the many (many!) places i've lived over the last few years. also you should probably read the billfold and its friends the awl and the hairpin anyway, because they are good. 

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