A non-cocktailian friend asked recently what I drink with food, wondering if I liked wine and that kind of thing.
Sometimes it’s beer. Often it’s water. But there are those evenings that call for something special. You know those nights when you’re so beat that all you can do is dial that phone and hope someone delivers a meal while you still have the strength to eat it? Maybe even icing a glass for a Martini is too much to cope with. Maybe you just want something to go with that pizza or Chinese food for those final moments before total oblivion. You could have a beer. You could have wine. Or you might see a lemon or lime in the fridge and a small bottle of soda, and you could have Mystic Bubbles.
Mystic Bubbles is any correctly prepared fizzy sour that will pair with takeout food: Cuba Libre, Gin and Tonic with Lime, Gin and Bitter Lemon with Lemon. Turn any delivery order into an exotic vacation in the twinkling of an eye. This is not an illusion if you realize that a well-made drink is the closest you’re going to get to a tropical getaway on a weeknight, though total exhaustion does help set the mood.
This is also an occasion to influence your friends. Say you got a buddy coming over to watch a movie. This is the guy who, if you go to his house, starts rummaging in the kitchen, “Um—I think the tonic’s still OK....” Out comes this gigantic plastic bottle containing less than a glass of high-fructose swill and the only gas in there is the stale air at the top. Then he drowns the booze with it. (Don't even get me started on those built-in automatic ice deals with the creepy-tasting ice.)
Here at the Lounge, we never drown the booze.
Cut a lemon or lime, one half per drink. In a tall glass full of clear hard ice cubes, pour 2-3 ounces spirits. Press fruit over the top of the glass. If using lime, reserve shell. Top with 3-4 ounces cold premium mixer from a small container. If you have company, make a big production of this step so your friend remembers the next time he reaches for the 2-liter plastic blimp. You gotta let him know not to cut corners or he won’t create the spell of Mystic Bubbles. Add your lime shell and a straw, and by the time the doorbell rings for the food, you’ll be halfway to Fantasy Island. Good for dates too.
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