For hot summer days

This spring weather has been wild. It’s bounced around between soaking wet, boiling hot, and extra chilly, and today it’s hovering somewhere around pleasant with a touch of gorgeous. Birds are chirping, the sun is shining, there’s a light breeze—I couldn’t ask for anything better.

Except that I could—because the forecast for the rest of the week is like looking into an incinerator. So I guess, if my wishes counted for anything, I might ask that the rest of the week be like today.

But I’ve learned that when it comes to the meteorological weather patterns, my trite little desires have no bearing whatsoever. The most I can do is learn to cope, and this week my coping methods involve strawberry daiquiris, both virgin and non.

I’m kind of tickled with my strawberry daiquiri discovery. The main reason, besides its outstanding refreshment capabilities, is that it makes an intense strawberry drink with a minimal amount of strawberries. Which means that if you are like me and are limping along with a paltry strawberry harvest, or have no berries of your own to harvest and so must break the piggy to buy some at your farmers’ market, this drink does an excellent job of stre-e-e-etching the berrylusciousness.

And if that isn’t enough, the base for the drink stores well in the refrigerator, making it the perfect weapon for an addled mother or surprised hostess. Simply glug some strawberry goodness into the blender, add ice and give it a whirl, and everyone will think you’re amazing.

And if that weren’t enough, this base can be used for more than daiquiris. Add it to lemonade, drizzle it on yogurt or ice cream, stir in some vanilla yogurt and freeze it for popsicles—the options are endless!

If you wanna be really smart, make the base in bulk and freeze the extra for a summer full of strawberry drinks. Once you’ve done that you’ll feel so good that you’ll almost start to look forward to the 100 degree days.

(I said “almost,” okay?)

Strawberry Daiquiri Base
Adapted from some place (sorry!) on the web

Local-yocals, buy your limes at the Hispanic vendor who parks outside of T & E Meats on Fridays and Saturdays—at that little joint, limes go for six a buck.

For simple syrup: combine 1 1/4 cups sugar in a small saucepan and add 1 cup of water. Bring the mixture to a simmer and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Store the syrup in a pint jar in the fridge. It will keep for weeks.

1 cup whole strawberries, washed and capped
½ cup simple syrup (see head note)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons lime juice

Combine the first three ingredients in a blender and whiz thoroughly. Press the mixture through a fine-meshed sieve. (About 1 teaspoon of seeds will get left behind—they’re bitter and deserve to be tossed.) Add the lime to the strawberry syrup and stir to combine. Refrigerate (or freeze) the base.

For Strawberry Daiquiris:
Put the strawberry syrup into the blender along with 3 cups of ice and ½ cup of rum. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and garnish with mint sprigs. Serves 3 or 4.

For Virgin Daiquiris:
Put the strawberry syrup into the blender along with 2 cups of ice and blend until smooth. Garnish with mint sprigs. Serves 2 or 3.


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