Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer for Americans everywhere, marking the first of 15 short weekends where it’s OK to drink during the day. In that spirit, I want to share with you a list of super simple drinks that I found on the New York Times website a few years ago in preparation for a week at the beach. They’re all made with three ingredients or fewer (excluding some basics like simple syrup), so chances are you have the stuff to make one right now. Since that beach vacation a few years ago, two of these drinks have become Bowman family classics. I make the Live Basil Gimlet to the letter and it’s delicious, so I won’t reprint it here for fear of litigation. But I’ve tweaked the Tom Collins recipe so that it makes a half-gallon at a time and only dirties one dish. It’s hands down the most refreshing summer drink I’ve found:
(AKA I’m gonna Collins sick tomorrow)
- 1 1/2 C (12 oz) Gin
- 1 C (8 oz) Lemon Juice
- 3/4 C (6 oz) Simple Syrup
- 1 Lemon
- 1 Orange
Carefully measure the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup into a half-gallon thermos, or just eyeball it like I do. Fill halfway with ice, put the lid on and shake. Cut the lemon and orange in half, squeeze and then throw those in the thermos, too. Fill the rest of the way with seltzer. You’re good for a whole day even if you have to share.