Even though we know the days are getting shorter, they still feel so very long and hot here in Texas. It's the kind of hot you certainly feel from the sweat on your brow, but can also hear in the chirping of the cicadas. That sound never fails to remind me of summers at my grandparents when we were little... sleeping with the windows wide open, barely a sheet to use as cover, the big box fan blowing out a breeze, and the cicadas singing us to sleep. July in Texas, we do our outdoor work in the morning, and on a weekend afternoon, it's just too hot for much else. Unless maybe you are sipping this drink. Now that changes things.
It all starts with these sweet pickled cherries. I hope you make them too. They are kind of glorious, actually. Wait until they show up in your farmer's market when they are in full, perfect season. When that happens, you'll know it's time. Buy up a couple of quarts and pickle these.
Muddle a few of them in the bottom of a glass with fresh squeezed lime juice and simple syrup.
Fill the glass with ice, gin and seltzer, and garnish with a pretty garden mint sprig speared through a cherry. All you need now is to find the porch swing, and sit back to enjoy the afternoon.
sweet pickled cherry lime gin spritz
(makes one cocktail)
3-4 sweet pickled cherries, pitted
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1 1/2 ounce gin
1 1/2 ounce seltzer
lime, mint and cherries to garnish
Place cherries in the bottom of a glass and add the simple syrup, and lime juice. Gently muddle the cherries. Fill the glass with ice, add gin and stir to combine. Top with seltzer and garish with lime and a cherry speared through mint. Sip. Slowly. Savor.