It’s time for refreshing beverages again… finally! Last weekend was damn lovely and it seems to be holding (fingers crossed). Johnny and I came home from a Sunday dinner out – a disastrous Moroccan meal that I don’t have anything positive to say about except that it was free – and opened a bottle of wine to shake off the experience.
We took the bottle out on the deck and for the first time this year we sat out in the moonlight with our favourite chunky wine glasses and just enjoyed. (Emmett menaced the raccoons so he was happy). One of my favourite times of year is that moment when you walk outside and it’s the same temperature as inside – that realization you have the freedom to come and go unencumbered by coats and scarves.
We gazed up at the sky and all the lit up planes passing overhead and listened to the neighbourhood kids and college students setting off fireworks – our area is notorious for this – even in the wintertime, hell, even in the daytime! When we had George, our Bernese, it was always a crisis. Long weekends sounded like Armageddon forcing us to bunker down in the basement until it passed… three days later. Emmett could care less. The point being: for the first time in as long as I can remember we put on the brakes and just settled into the moment.
I love winter and the snow, it can be so quite and peaceful, but we’ve had enough for one year. Now we crawl out of our stale and dusty dens (can you say spring cleaning?), and bask in the delight of spring.
After a winter of wine – which I am far from complaining about – my mouth wants to be woken up. Bring back the fruity cocktails, the sparkling flavours, the colours! Grapefruit is unbeatable in the refreshment department. It’s not too sweet and it’s pretty as all hell. Light pink or deep ruby, it glistens like a jewel and tastes like it’s meant for royalty. Add a little effervescence, some mint, and some herbilicious gin, and no matter where I am I feel transported to a lounge chair somewhere quiet, being kissed by the breeze of the coming season… (too much?)
GRAPEFRUIT AND MINT SPRITZER – WITH GIN OR WITHOUT
2 ruby red grapefruit, juiced
3 tbsp real maple syrup
1 lime, juiced
*optional: a small pinch of cayenne
*optional: 4 oz gin (or vodka, tequila or bourbon)
a small handful or fresh mint leaves, torn
2 handfuls of ice cubes
soda water (tonic works too)
In a jar with a lid or a cocktail shaker combine both juices, gin, maple syrup, mint and ice. Shake vigorously to bruise the mint and dissolve the syrup. Divide between 2 glasses and top off with soda water adding more ice if needed.