31 May 2014

Main Street in May: a summer drink

The drink tastes like summer in America, when the days are long and the twilight conversations longer.

The waiter had described it as pink lemonade for grown-ups, which is an odd distinction to make because I've always thought of pink lemonade itself as the grown-up version of regular lemonade. It's certainly a more mature drink than a lemon shake-up, that glass full of sugar and just a hint of tart.

I know, of course, that the waiter meant that the drink tastes a lot like pink lemonade and just so happens to have alcohol in it: St-Germain Elderflower and some kind of gin.

I don't know what kind of gin because I stopped paying attention to the waiter's spiel after he said St-Germain Elderflower. I have discovered that I love any drink with that in it, and I know that part of the reason I love it is because it's French. St-Germain—even if we pronounce it "Saint Germane" here in America, I believe it's germane to point out that I can never see that word without thinking of St-Germain-des-Pres in Paris and how there's a perfume shop there, Fragonard, that I visit on every trip. I know it's time to start planning a trip back to France when I run low on my Bleu Riviera perfume, and may I just point out that I have been out of that for months now?

St-Germain Elderflower, some gin, grapefruit juice, and a little grapefruit rind. Mix it all together {in who knows what proportions; I'm no help there}, and you get this drink that tastes like summer in America.

It tastes like cool early mornings that become distant memories by the time noon hits and the heat is on high.

It tastes like cook-outs and impromptu meals cobbled together with friends. You have meat and I have a salad and she has fresh fruit with fresh-whipped cream and together, we have an easy night when we stay up way too late, considering it's a school night.

That drink tastes like hot cement under your feet, the Fourth of July, and that tired muscle ache you get after you work in the yard on Saturday afternoon.

It's called Main Street in May, this summer drink, and as I took that first sip, cool and tart, while looking out the window at Main Street of my little town, I thought: Ahhh.

There was no better word for it.

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