Is it warm where you are, friends? Are you working in your yard as much as your fucked-up back will allow which maybe isn’t much but you can’t let the wild grape vine win? When you come inside, do you struggle with your competing urges to pour a stiff drink and to do that pouring-Gatorade-over-your-head thing like they do on The Sports?
Let me make a suggestion.
A couple years ago I worked on a farm. Just me and the farmer, and he would make us lunch every day. One day it was hot as all actual hell and he didn’t want us to die so he made us salted lemonade and my world got changed a little.
(Side note: this is not a “health” blog, this is a food blog. Salt and sugar are food. Bodies need salt and bodies need sugar and fruit juice is not some kind of poison like candy which also isn’t a poison. I doubt anyone I know who reads this will fight me on those points, but just in case: this is not a space in which to fight me on these points.)
So, salted lemonade. REVELATION! Because when you’re thirsty, lemonade can be fantastic for that. And when you’re dehydrated, you might need something with a little salt to help your body reabsorb some moisture. And also lemonade is delicious, and don’t even get me started on salt. And my point is salted lemonade is now a Thing in my life on the days when it’s so hot and I don’t want to die of it.
(Speaking of salt: if, like mine, your supply of homemade citrus salt is running low, this is a real good time to buy some organic lemons and load up on that
sweet sweet sour sour zest.)
Now, let’s talk about alcohol for a sec. Gin and I haven’t always been friends. It’s very pine-y to me and that’s exactly why I can’t stand rosemary and one time a friend of mine tried sooooo hard to convince me gin martinis were the REAL martinis but I tried and I just couldn’t get on board. (To be clear: I have trained and briefly worked as a bartender and thus I do fully accept the “gin martinis are the original martinis” theory, but also: drink whatever the fuck you want and shut up when your friends drink something else, that’s my motto.) But I can’t deny there’s something refreshingly astringent about it that kind of works for me in summer.
I ramble. This is a story about how one day I realized that sometimes I’ve been doing yard work and I want a salted lemonade and sometimes I’ve been doing yard work and I want a gin & tonic and sometimes I remember the magical power of why not both.
This is not a recipe blog. And a mixed drink is something that very much needs to be made according to your personal taste. I personally find bar recipes tend to have the mixers way too forward and the alcohol obscured. I drink alcohol because I like alcohol, so when I make a drink I want to taste the alcohol. You may view it differently. My point is I’m not giving you measurements here. If you’ve mixed yourself a drink before, you’ll know what proportions you need.
Salted Lemonade Gin & Tonic: Not a Recipe
Start by obtaining salted lemonade. Maybe you have a bottle of lemonade in your fridge already. That’s cool, that works. I don’t drink it often enough to buy it anymore, but I almost always have a few lemons on hand and that’s plenty for a few servings when I feel the urge. So, either way, you can make this happen.
If you’re going to make it, here’s how I make it, but you could make it many other ways and if you like it that would still be the right way to make it:
Squeeze your lemons & measure the juice.
Add the same amount of water.
You’ll probably need the same amount of sugar, but start with less. Add the sugar, stir, taste, and repeat until it tastes just slightly less sweet than you like your lemonade.
Whenever and however you have achieved lemonade, start adding salt. I use Morton Kosher salt. Start with a few big pinches, stir, taste, and repeat until you feel like you want to state out loud “this is salty lemonade.”
Next, you need some gin and some tonic. Buy the brands you know you like. But also this is a mixed drink, so you really don’t need fancy gin here.
*Gin (as much as you like in a mixed drink)
Get your shaker out, put ice in it, then the gin, then as much lemonade as you know you normally like to use for any mixer in a mixed drink. Shake that gin thing right the hell up. Pour it in a glass. Put some tonic in it.
Let yourself feel refreshed in two different ways at once, and marvel at your own efficiency.
Also grab some mint off the porch if you also happened upon a clearance plant sale yesterday.