A back-porch fizz
Originally uploaded by norvegal
I don't know about you, but here in Maine we're desperately clinging to every ounce of sunshine that has finally arrived after the rainiest summer on record. (Ever. Since, like, the beginning of time.)
The arrival of what I can nervously call "summer" (and yes, I realize it is August 25th) has inspired a new drink. I created it last week and have been perfecting in daily doses ever since. I'm sure many others have created it before me, but I call my version a Back-Porch Fizz. Here's how it goes.
First, put on the tea kettle. Yup, you heard me right.
Next, go to the door, don your flip-flops, and head out into the garden to pick a few sprigs of mint. Not a huge number, just five or six nice healthy leaves. Don't have a mint patch? Plant one. Every house needs to have a mint patch. Just be aware that mint is to gardens what telemarketers are to phone lines. It persists and spreads.
Come back inside and toss those sprigs into a cocktail shaker. Pour a healthy little scoop of sugar over it. (More if you love sweet, less if you don't. This is not a highly scientific recipe.)
Take out a mug and put some tea in it -- either two tea bags or a few scoops of leaves. Something dark and meaty, like Assam. Pour a small amount of boiling water from your kettle into the mug. We're talking...half a cup maximum. You're making espresso tea.
While the tea is steeping, squeeze one lime and pour that juice into your shaker. Slosh it around a few times to get things mixed.
Now pour most -- but not all -- of that tea into the shaker. Slosh it around a little more. You want to dissolve the sugar.
Fill the shaker with ice, and fill two glasses with ice while you're at it.
Now shake, shake, shake that little shaker until it gets so cold that your hand starts to hurt. You're mixing things up and bruising the mint so that it releases all its magnificent essence without actually falling apart.
Next, pour that rich, honey-colored liquid into the two glasses. Top each off with however much soda water is required to make them almost fizz over the top of the glass. Stir and enjoy -- preferably while sitting barefoot on a chair in the grass or, in the case of this year's summer, on your back porch.