It seems that whenever heat wave grips the nation we all get just a tiny bit nuts. When this last wave peaked I got to witness a fight at the supermarket over a ripe avocado. This kerfuffle took place in front of a display of at least one hundred other perfectly beautiful avocados. The same day I received 3 sexting messages from one evidently under-appreciated woman who must not have been knowledgeable of her boyfriend’s area code. I notified her I wasn’t who she thought I was. She then sent me angry texts because I didn’t compliment her figure anyway.
Naturally, I tried to engage her. She was from Arizona and so I tried to blame her attitude on the heat.
“Isn’t it like 115 degrees there?” I asked by text after Googling her area code.
“Its a dry heat”, she answered back.
Why do Arizonans always say that?
In the end I decided it was hopeless to try to convince her I didn’t owe her a compliment when I didn’t ask for the photos in the first place. Above the norm air temperatures are taken by many as a license to act out.
I’m not complaining. Severe heat can make life interesting and I generally enjoy it when the population at large gets a bit fiery and indulgent with their individual brands of self-crazy. When you all go unhinged from the heat I will blend in all the more. When the mercury pushes 100 degrees and everyone is sticky and uncomfortable you can get a full moon-like crazy during daylight hours. Yeah, I love it.
What I don’t like is the meta dialogue that goes with it. That is, when complaints and observations about the heat become the universal and dizzyingly dull topic of conversation no matter where you go or whom you talk to.
“It’s hot outside today.”
Is it any wonder we go a bit batty with scintillating conversations like these to keep us sane?
Oh, and people start to stink. ‘Nuff said there.
Locally the morning news will open each day during a heatwave with a reading of how many elderly people perished the day before and how many homeless sought refuge in hospitals and clinics. We are suitably cautioned and saddened by these tales but then the anchorman will invariably treat us to a “human interest story” about some idiot who did a marathon through the Mojave Desert.
So in a demonstration of my own sanity I yell at the television.
I do this even when it is a dry heat.
Newscasters are also keen to list off the many precautions one can take during the heat to avoid issues. The one thing they always fail to mention but that I always try to do is to stay indoors and experiment with new refreshing summer cocktails. Whether it is a dry heat or a sticky moist one just about everybody appreciates a refreshing adult beverage.
Though I will always lean on my margaritas, Pimm’s Cups, and Aperol spritzes (spreetz?) to counter summer heat, these longer, post-global warming apocalyptic summer heat waves mean that I must get busy and expand my summer cocktail repertoire.
I picked up a bottle of Maurin Quina at the store when I saw its devilish green label stare back at me from the shelf. How could I resist it? I knew that the “quina” part in its moniker comes from same quinine notes that tonic come from so I knew it would be a natural for gin. But how? Thankfully my friend Adri came to the rescue and pointed me towards this refreshing riff on both the the classic Gin Rickey and the name of a famous singer.
Gin Rickey Maurin Cocktail
Maurina Quina is a digestif amaro made near Lyon, France. Only recently reintroduced, Maurin Quina was invented in 1884 by Auguste Maurin and had its peak of popularity during Paris’ La Belle Époque. Maurin Quina has a base of sweet white wine and cherry brandy, with wild cherries, almonds, lemon, and cinchona bark. It is pale red in color and 32 proof. It is not so sweet that it can be called a liqueur which actually makes it quite pleasant on its own, on the rocks and with a very small splash of soda. Certainly worth getting a bottle.