Foodie Tuesday: The Drinks are On Me

photoCold Water

There was a lovely icy drink

Of water, saved my life I think,

One dusty day of heat and dirt

And sweat that soaked right through my shirt,

And if that day should come again

I’ll pray for more ice water then!digital illustration from a photoMeanwhile, there’s so much more to be imbibed as well!

photoIt need not be a special occasion for [metaphorical] immersion in a magnificent drink to slake the spirit as well as the thirst. A pretty glass is reason enough. A dry palate, of course, demands it. Good company makes it lubricate the conversation, whether by dint of mere moisture or by the companionable pleasure of the drink itself.

And Now, to Retire to the Dining Chamber

Let us retire, old friend of mine, and hie to find us there a

Couple sublime cold cocktails on the gold-baked Riviera,

A sunset stroll off-season on the warm Amalfi coast

Accompanied by pork pâté on points of brioche toast;

Perhaps in Brighton lolling near the breezy, rocky beach

With fish-and-chip perfection and a Guinness within reach,

Some spa-time simmering upon the languid Baltic shore

With sparkling water and a plate of pastries, six or more;

At any rate, though I am pleased as Punch to go retire,

I wouldn’t want to spend it only lounging by the fire

Unless something’s a-roast on it, and pleasure in a glass,

For that’s what flavors years and hours with beauty as they pass

Refreshment can easily be whipped up in a swift, quenching cocktail, or it can just as easily be a thirst-slaking alcohol-free cooler. Today’s has alcohol in it, but a negligible amount, and it can just as easily be left out or substituted for with another ingredient. Drink blends are just as flexible as food recipes can be, and this one scores high for garden-fresh taste and simplicity.photoGarden & Orchard punch

1 bottle Granny Smith hard apple cider (omit or substitute unfiltered plain apple juice to de-alcoholize the punch) (12 oz)

1 bottle Sidral Mundet Manzana Verde (green apple) soda (12 oz)

1 bottle Mr. Q Cumber soda (7 oz)

Pour these together in a gallon pitcher (they make just under 4 cups together) and add (4 cups) fresh limeade to fill. Put a handful each of fresh basil, cilantro and mint leaves into a blender, pour in a cup or two of the soda-juice mix, and blend thoroughly, then strain the liquid back into the gallon pitcher and stir or shake gently. Pour over ice or just chill it in the fridge before serving, and dream happy dreams of shady woodland gardens, birds singing and gentle spring rain. Wet, tasty rain.photo

photoOh, and I happen to know that this punch goes very nicely with Smoked Tuna Dip, vegetables and chips as a light lunch or supper. All it takes, besides the veg and crisps (or crackers) is to fork-blend a tin of smoked tuna (I like Tuna Guys‘) with a big spoonful of Avocado-Roasted Tomatillo salsa (I used Arriba!), a smaller spoonful of mayonnaise, and a touch of dill. Add salt, to taste, if the chips or crackers aren’t salty enough. You’ll always have that nice, juicy punch to keep you hydrated.photo

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