Gin and Tonic

July 11, 2010 (Day 162) — Gin and Tonic

How long has it been since I’ve made one of the classics. I mean, a classic that guarantees that no matter where you are, you know the barkeep is going to know how to make it. The Gin and Tonic is one such drink. And it’s a classic that actually has quite a bit of meaning to  me. Well, Jenn and I both really. I will warn you now, there is a bit schmaltz coming up, so gird yourself for it.

They say that smell is the strongest sense tied to memory. That if you catch a whiff of something you know from long ago, thoughts, memories, people and places will come flooding back to you. I’m inclined to agree with this. Now, I’m neither a scientist, nor a psychologist, but I did take at least one of each of those courses in college, I’m going to go ahead and call myself an expert. An expert…. OF THE INTERNETS!

When Jenn and I began hanging out — before we were ever a couple — we spent a lot of summer evenings out on the front stoop of her house (which, three years later would become my house too. But that’s another story). Jenn lived on one of the busiest non-commercial streets in town. Around 9 every few evenings, usually right around the time the sun was finally starting to stop making Kansas ball-shrivelingly hot, I’d head over. The two of us would set up chairs, fix drinks and watch the endless parade of cars trundling past the porch step along the redbrick street. And yes, some of the large streets in town are still red brick.

Our of choice, if it isn’t already obvious, was the gin and tonic.

Around the time most couples were going through the “getting to know you,” stage, Jenn and I had already knocked those out those evenings on the porch.  There, countless evenings that first summer, sitting on the porch. It was our own form of therapy. A couch session. At the time, never of us were truly expecting, so any subject was allowed. Love, loss, regret, hope, dreams, family.

If you ever really want to get to know somebody, I suggest a summer on a front porch drinking gin and tonics.

Six years later, we’re married, living in a new house in a new neighborhood. And yet, that juniper smell of gin, bright bite of lime and the bubbles of the tonic still bring all those memories flooding back. So, when Jenn came back from shopping this morning, she had a simple request — gin and tonic. It’s unseasonably humid here in town, and there’s absolutely no wind, so that sounded freaking perfect.

Gin and Tonic

1.5 oz gin (I recommend either Hendrick’s or Tanqueray)

1/4 lime (AVOID THE LIME IF YOU’RE USING HENDRICK’S. It just jacks with the flavors. Hendrick’s is best with just the tonic)

Tonic water to top

Pour the gin into a chilled rocks glass filled with ice. Squeeze the lime over the top, then drop the rind into the glass. Top with tonic water. Stir once, very gently to avoid fizz-up. Add a straw. Done. Simple, delicious.

It’s crisp, bright and very summery. It satiates thirst, and cools you down while sitting out on a warm porch. You can trust me on that one.

And, even now, those memories come flooding back. Taking a sip of my Gin and Tonic, for at least one brief moment, Jenn and I were those two sitting on that front porch, watching the cars pass by.

Just talking.

So, I’ve already OD-ed on saccharine, so here’s a picture of me on a gigantic tricycle.

Here's a picture of me on a gigantic tricycle to break up the gooeyness!

— Mark

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