Gastronomy 101, a blog about food and Los Angeles restaurants

EVENT: Mixology Monday VII--Goodbye, Summer

August has passed us by and we are now racing through September at breakneck speed. Kids are back in school, the days are getting shorter and there is a barely perceptible shift in the weather as the Southern California heat just slightly begins to toy with the notion of giving in to fall. We won't have to get our sweaters out for a while now, but we can start anticipating that day, at least.

To commemorate the end of summer vacations and trips to the beach, and barbecues and growing things and suffocating heat that demands a refreshing beverage, Paul at The Cocktail Chronicles is hosting edition number seven of Mixology Monday, "Goodbye Summer." Instructions are simple: "just post whatever drink you’ve been enjoying this summer and bid it a fond farewell as we head into the apple cider and hot toddy season."

Now part of the deal at my place is that I am the cook and J. is the bartender. I let him eat the food I make and he makes me wonderful cocktails to ease the stress of my day. This is not entirely fair, since he is a very good cook as well and makes us good food sometimes too. I don't generally make cocktails. But I bring home wine, so I guess it evens out. Probably not. But what this means is that I cheated on this event. I did not make a cocktail. Instead I had one made for me. Several times. But it was really good and it was definitely a summer favorite for me and therefore I think it deserves to be featured on the internets.

Therefore, I now introduce you to J.'s summer drink, a variation on an adaptation of "The Cool Cucumber" by Shell Thomas for Bong Su Restaurant & Lounge. Therefore, I will dub it "The Coolest Cucumber."

You can find the original adaptation, plus an interesting article, here: The 411 on a Cool Cucumber.

To transform it into the Coolest Cucumber, you would use blood orange juice instead of regular
orange juice, an extra splash of campari, and NO simple syrup (since it doesn't seem to need any extra sweetness).

This becomes a classic summer drink ... the cooling effect of cucumber, with its crisp, green flavor melds with the subtle sweetness of the orange juice, which is kept from being too sweet by the bitter Campari, which also intensifies the citrus without letting it overpower the cucumber.

Every time I drink it I wish for a wide lawn with a stand of shade trees and a breeze so that I could sit outside on a sunny day, preferably curled on a cushiony seat underneath that stand of shade trees and sip as I relax and contemplate my life of leisure. Of course, then I snap out of it and find myself in my familiar, dog-hair covered living room, with my cokehead neighbor yelling obscenities on the phone to his girlfriend and only a few short hours before I go to bed, get up again and trudge my way to work, to try once to figure out how to fit 673,284 "To Do" list items into 8 hours without spraining my brain permanently.


Girl, here is all you need for a good cocktail.
Blueberry Stoli

Heaven in a glass. Blueberry Stoli and cream soda also rock quite a bit.

said by Unknown at 2:41 PM Delete

Wow ... that actually sounds really good. Although I think I would have to do soda instead of Sprite.

Blueberry and cream soda ... that sounds YUM.

The thing is ... my home bartender also infuses his own vodkas and we've got a bottle of lemongrass ginger vodka in the fridge. And then coming up next is vanilla bourbon. It may be a while before I need to go purchase my own alcohol!

I love my bartender.

said by KT at 2:45 PM Delete

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