Summer is rolling across our paths with all its pleasures, like a cinnamon roll unrolling across your plate leaving a trail of gooey goodness to gather on your fingers and lap up until every drop of sunshine and sugary satisfaction is enjoyed. Oh, it’s going to be hot and marvelous, but there are decisions to be made ... like what to drink to quench that summer thirst.
The most basic of all drinks is water. I like water. Lucky me, I live where the water is wonderful. Clear 47 degrees right from the well, then out of the tap and, more importantly, right out of the hose. Yes, I drink water out of the hose.
After mowing the lawn or pulling weeds or putting clothes on the clothesline when it’s hot, summer hot, unscrewing the hose from a sprinkler and taking big gulp from that hose? There’s nothing like it. You can feel the water go all the way down to your tummy, cooling every inch and if you’re really hot you take that same hose and water your face, too. It’s a summer event that’s not to be missed.
There’s an art to hose drinking. Don’t hold the hose horizontal to you, hold it up and down with the water coming out the top like a fountain. It not only looks cool, it sounds all bubbly and inviting. You can drink until full and not get water up your nose or in your ear or a glop of hair wet. Trust me here, this has come from years of getting hosed.
Summer deserves special drinks. Forgo sodas and juices, it’s summer! Time for lemonade. I don’t know why lemonade feels so right in summer. Glad it does to be sure, but in all the other seasons lemonade just doesn’t flow over your tongue and gurgle down your throat like it does when summer is knocking at the door.
I have had homemade lemonade, and it’s hard to beat. Taking lemons, squeezing them until they say “Uncle!” adding water and sugar and ice. The wow factor of fresh lemonade is pretty intense. But, yes a “but” is getting squished in here — I admit I’m of the instant gratification generation where I open a little package, add water and shake my lemonade into being. It’s just as tart as I want to make it and I can make it over and over again, drinking to my heart’s content. I unashamedly drink a lot of it just because I use the sugar-free brands. I know, I know, it probably isn’t good for me to drink all the sugar-free stuff I do, but I apparently, as per some know-it-all news ding dong reports, I’m already taking my life in my hands by drinking out of the hose!
There are flavored lemonades. But it seems to me the only reason to drink a flavored lemonade is because you don’t like lemonade. If that’s true then I suggest drinking flavored iced tea because to flavor lemonade is just as wrong as flavoring cinnamon gum to taste like peppermint. I mean, you don’t chew cinnamon gum because you want it to taste like peppermint, do you?
Then lastly, the summer drink when it’s just right, is such a wonderfully bronzed-colored liquid it sends sparkling winks off of floating ice cubes as you pour it into tall glasses: Iced tea. There are probably hundreds of ways to make iced tea.
You can use green tea, black tea, decaf tea, double strong tea. You can boil water, add tea and cool or make sun tea — a favorite around here. There are ready-made teas in bottles, instant teas and cold-brew teas. Teas with lemon or mint. Teas with flavors. All in all, I sometimes think iced tea can make or break a meal. Especially in a restaurant.
I rate some eateries by the tea they serve. I’ve been in places where instant tea is spooned out of a crusty jar into a glass of water with one ice cube and is being stirred by the waitress while she’s schlepping to the table. Not at all a “go back to” place. Way far away on the other end of this iced tea spectrum I know a place I would go to if all it served was iced tea. It’s just the right color, plainly, wonderfully full flavored tea. Always served with lots of ice and the glass is refilled and refilled until you feel like you’re going to burst. Now that’s the right way to have iced tea. Uh, of course their garlic steak sandwiches and French fries also bring me through the door time after time after time.
Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Her book ITY BITS is on Kindle. Share with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.