For Dave and me, our weekends are structured by beverages. Coffee when we wake up around 7:30. Espresso with milk (hot in winter, iced in summer) around 2 or 3 PM. And then, ever since Rosa was born, cocktail hour.
At 5 o’clock Dave will ask me if I want a drink, and I invariably say yes. I justify having a cocktail, and then maybe a small glass of wine at dinner, by the fact that we NEVER go out anymore. When we didn’t have Rosa we would go to dinner on Fridays and have a drink or two. And then sometimes on Saturdays as well. Whether this excuse holds or not, cocktail hour is a bright, happy time chez Dave and Jenna.
Usually we drink Campari and soda with orange, or gin and tonic with lime. I love both, although Campari is one of the most delightful discoveries of my adult life. Lately, though, we’ve been drinking a cocktail called Gordon’s Cup, the recipe for which I found in Bon Appetit magazine a couple of months ago. It’s a gin based drink, a little sweet, a lot sour, and a bit salty. It’s heavy on the lime and infused with the refreshing flavor of cucumber. That may sound odd, a vegetable in your cocktail. But I would challenge you to add a slice of cucumber to your ice water one day. The best way I can describe it is that it tastes clean, with a slight vegetal undercurrent. Clean, clear, and cool.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find the recipe for the drink on the Bon Appetit or Epicurious websites to link to, so I am taking the liberty of reproducing it here. According to the text it comes from Comme Ça, a Los Angeles restaurant.
2/3 of one small lime, cut into six wedges
2 1/2 inch think rounds of peeled cucumber
1/4 cup gin
1 1/2 TB of simple syrup (equal amounts of sugar and water heated on the stove until the sugar dissolves)
1 cup cracked ice
pinch of sea salt
Place lime and cucumber in cocktail shaker; mash with muddler or wooden spoon until lime is juiced and cucumber is pulpy. Add gin and simply syrup, then ice. Cover; shave vigorously three times. Pour contents of shaker into rocks glass. Sprinkle with salt.
I should note that it’s Dave who’s in charge of our beverages on the weekends, from coffee on forward. For someone who spends so much time in the kitchen, it’s a cozy luxury for me to be plied so lovingly and uncomplainingly with caffeine and alcohol. It’s small, but sharing drinks is one of my favorite parts of our life together.