The heat is taking its toll.
It is starting to impact our judgment in subtle ways. People keep telling me that they think it is getting cooler. Delusion. One degree … maybe.
The other day I came out of the front door and discovered a roach that had become disoriented and ventured out from the shaded area of the porch. When the poor little sucker hit the devastating full sun of high noon, he just pitched forward and lost consciousness. Passed out on the hot concrete of the step. Butt up and nose down. Out, but not out cold.
It reminded me of a particularly destructive party in college. My friends had discovered the “Dark and Stormy” cocktail. Jimmy Mulcahy had one too many “Dark and Stormies” and he passed right out in the pizza. Butt up and nose first, straight into that pie — just like that roach. When we pulled Jimmy out there were two big rounds of pepperoni on his forehead. He looked like the “Red Baron” with his goggles pushed up on his helmet.
That “Dark and Stormy” memory is particularly significant at this “still is hot” juncture of September. It will be a dark and stormy night that brings the first “cold front” that will liberate us from the heat and humidity of summer. That storm will begin with a warm rain driven by southwest winds shifting through the west to the north. The rain will gradually grow cooler. It will finally be blown away by a chilling breeze out of the north.
Restaurants will fill with laughing people drinking red wine and eating big steaks.
There will be naked dancing in the streets. Life will be joyful and full of promise again.
A great way to greet that first cold front is to plant yourself in a comfortable chair in the yard, sip a “Dark and Stormy,” and savor the rain getting cooler and cooler until that northern breeze scatters clear, bright stars across the sky.
Toast yourself … “sure was hot”.
The classic “dark and stormy” originated in Bermuda. It was built with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum but any of your favorite dark rums will work. The definitive ingredient is a robust “ginger beer.” The original recipe calls for Barritt’s Ginger Beer. Goslings makes a very good one. My favorite is a wild and crazy ginger beer called Churchill’s — we used to find in North Carolina.
Two ounces of rum, eight ounces of ginger beer, a wedge of lime and you are there.
For a truly spectacular Bistro Dark and Stormy, add a little Domaine de Canton—a ginger–infused cognac—and a piece of candied ginger for garnish and nibbling.
Sean Murphy is the owner of the Beach Bistro and the "eat here" restaurants. Comments can be directed to him at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wander into the air-conditioned interiors of any of his restaurants in September and tell the first person you see that, "it sure is hot," the first glass is on Sean!
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