Tuesday, July 22, 2014

tropical iceland - pineapple & basil frozen g&t

maybe there should be a whole line of cocktails with names based on fiery furnaces songs. blueberry boat offers the most obvious possibilities, but i'm sure there are many more. it'll be nice to have a mission to keep me occupied as this summer slogs on, sticky and hot and not altogether optimism-inducing.  

i have to admit, i try not to watch the news. i think at this point i have a fairly good idea of how much information i can take in before succumbing to what mike calls a German mood (which is kind of ironic since he's the one with the Teutonic heritage) and my mom has referred to as "that morose Irish blood of ours." i don't claim to be more sensitive than the average person, but knowing the details of tragedy while lacking the power to change anything is a sure ticket to a gloaming dark apathy and pessimism that a) are not fun to experience and b) sure don't make me a treat to be around. 

all that to say, i try to be aware of what's going on in a broad sense, but shy away from learning more than i have to. i'm sure that's not the best way for everyone, and i'm not even sure it's the best for me, but in a world of randomness and sadness and, it's true, great joy, it's what i need to do to maintain some equanimity in my day to day life. otherwise i just get my heart broken open again and again and it all feels too hard.

finding a balance doesn't mean sticking my head in the sand entirely, though. it's more like taking in the broad strokes of the bombings and the plane crashes and all of the conflicts and and and

but then not reading too many of the smaller, more personal, more 
"and this child who got blown up loved her dog and the color red and wanted to be a marine biologist when she grew up." that kind of thing doesn't help me understand the world better and DOES make me very sad.

anyway, this is turning a little (lot) too downer-y for something that was supposed to be about a nifty tropical drink that you eat with a spoon. oops. sorry. to be fair, i made it before the world totally fell apart. however this IS a nifty tropical drink you can eat with a spoon. so that's something! it's bracing and chilly and bitter from the tonic and herbal from the basil and pineapple-y from the pineapple.

you just chop up the pineapple into little bits, chop the basil into even littler bits, and dump both into a shallow-ish dish along with gin and some (preferably fancy) tonic. toss it in the freezer and stir it a little with a fork every few hours, as if you were making a granita (which you basically are). it gets slushy after 4 or 5 hours (at least in my freezer) and you can eat it then, but it's even better if you leave it overnight. at that point, instead of being slushy, it's crispy and crunchy and tastes like eating magic snow. but slushy's good, too. you do you.

also you can pour coconut cream over it like they do sometimes with snow cones - it makes it more like a delicious sweet creamy piña colada that way.

the only sad thing about this drink is that you have to wait for it to freeze. in an uncertain and sometimes grotesquely terrifying world, i appreciate that simplicity. and i can wait.

*tropical iceland*
~ 1/3 of a pineapple, cut into tiny bits (you could probably use canned, but i feel like it wouldn't be as good. if you must, i think i had like 1 1/2 cups of pineapple, once chopped. but it's pretty flexible)
1 small handful of basil - again, flexible. i used maybe 2 tablespoons
1 cup gin
~ 3 cups tonic (i used 2 bottles of Fever Tree and 1 of Q tonic, since that was what we had. i figured out it totaled about 2 2/3 cups, but probably you won't have the exact random mix of tiny tonic bottles that we did, so use whatever. personally, i prefer the Fever Tree, but whatever kind you have is fine)
a tablespoon or so of coconut cream is not out of place if you like that sort of thing

this actually makes a lot of servings, because you put it in little glasses so it won't melt too fast and a little goes a long way. if you want it to be less strong, add another cup or so of tonic. it sat happily in our freezer for over a week and was still good at the end, so it's not like you have to eat it all at once.

let's all clink our glasses to better times ahead. sláinte.

ALSO i am fully aware that it's an incredible privilege not to have to live in areas of conflict and not to have to worry on the level of those that do. that is obvious, and you do whatever small things you can.