Lemon-Lime Cordial for Gimlets (and more)

We’re keeping it short and sweet this week, folks, which is coincidentally also the way I like this drink.

A few weeks ago, Joe Wicks was the guest on Off Menu, a podcast I listen to where two comedians ask their guests what their dream meal would be, course by course. Joe was delightful because he’s known in the UK as the pandemic fitness instructor guy and all he chose to eat was burgers, fries, cheese, and alcohol, which I deeply respect and which is super realistic.

Also, he and his daughter like to make what’s known in their household as an “early gin-ton” (gin and tonic at or before 5pm). His daughter’s a toddler, so she’s just getting ton and lime, but I love the idea of an early gin-ton for starting your evening off right. Earlier the better, in the summertime.

Cheers! You have no idea how much I wanted to make this the featured image for this post.
Pictured: Joe Lycett (comedian) in a speedboat on the Thames on his way to host the Great British Sewing Bee, the reality show of the week in my household. Important: this is not Joe Wicks, fitness instructor, nor is it a gimlet. Whatever. It’s about the vibe.
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Iced Coffee

It’s ten thousand degrees outside, every part of you is drenched in sweat, and, like a dog or a performing seal, you need a treat in order to perform whatever new task is expected of you.

You need a good treat.

Not a low-fat smoothie or a Diet Tab or God forbid a protein shake. You need something delicious with enough pow and zap to launch your dilapidated meat corpse into whatever the next activity of the day is.

Hopefully there’s air conditioning. But even if there’s not? There’s iced coffee.

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Dave’s Sweet Tea

I’ve been dreaming about outdoor patio lunches, about fancy white tablecloths and club sandwiches that come wrapped in paper napkins, about standing outside a taco truck shoveling carnitas drenched in hot green salsa and crisp white onions and fresh lime juice into my face at 2AM.

I’ve been fantasizing about giant fuck-off Cobb salads served with a haystack of herby, cheesy skinny fries for the table, and barbecue stands handing out waxed-paper cartons filled with towering piles of smoky, sticky brisket. And a pickle on the side.

I’ve been thinking about sitting on the hood of the car outside the Dairy Queen at dusk, eating a chocolate dipped cone and talking about nothing and watching the thunderclouds roll in. I’ve been meditating on hot dogs.

I’m deep in Summer Outdoor Food Nostalgia, is what it is. We’ll be diving deep into this fantasy-based cooking in the coming weeks. Get ready for cherry pie, and pulled pork, and breakfast burritos and maybe donuts? And limeade and chicken shawarma and really good cold sandwiches for when it’s too hot to even think about turning on a burner on the stove, much less the oven.

A summertime eatin’-stuff moodboard: drive-thrus, puddin pie, Ferris Bueller, Brad Pitt eating in every scene of Ocean’s 11, fresh cherries, Corny the Sweetcorn at the Urbana Sweetcorn Festival, who is a known associate of this blog.

But you’re not getting through any of the above without a drink. Good, cold drinks are the cornerstone of summer eating: horchata, iced coffee, lemonade, milkshakes. The ever-wonderful movie theater Coke, which is essentially syrup poured over a mountain of crushed ice. Ideal.

Sweet Tea is movie theater Coke’s mellower cousin – you can control the sweetness at the beginning, with how much honey you put in, and at the end, with how much ice you serve it with.

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Tea

Look, I don’t know if you’ve all got experience with ‘having ankles’, but I’m pretty sure I’m about to get my license revoked. Molly and I have been hiking around the park almost every day for a year now, but this weekend I finally got overconfident, tripped over my own feet, and then walked home on the same busted ankle I had previously busted in college. Hooray for me. Kids, don’t listen to the government. Working out is a trap.

Now that my right ankle consists of what I can only assume is a mixture of gravel and corned beef hash, I can no longer locomote under my own power – I have to get my hands on Molly’s shoulders in what we’re calling “Doubles Conga” so that I can hop around the house on one foot.

And until we can buy wigs and spangled costumes and a small alligator, we can’t take our act on the road.

So here I am. Hello. If you think I’m going to start doing my Elderly Flamingo Impression in the kitchen next to knives, flames etc., you are incorrect. Let’s talk about the only thing I can photograph from my current setup in bed: tea.

Americans make bad tea. Water is wet. Guess what, though, punks? British people make bad tea, too. Tea is easy to make bad for the following reasons:

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