A friend reached out and asked if I could feature some easier cocktails that don’t require any hard-to-find ingredients, days of infusing, or an array of bar tools that you don’t own. So, here is the Midsummer Gin Dream, a simple, build-in-glass cocktail that is a subtle riff on the standard gin and tonic.
Because I’m not great at keeping it simple, I have used a limited edition spirit as the base. The Hendrick’s Midsummer Solstice is a small batch gin that has a big floral flavour with notes of ripe berry and citrus. I leaned into the floral, fruity dimension of the gin with the addition of Chambord, a delectable liqueur made with blackberries and raspberries. Fresh lime juice and tonic round out the cocktail for an easy sipper.
If you can’t get your hands on the special edition Hendrick’s Midsummer Solstice, you can opt for another gin with nice floral notes.
This is the kind of drink that will get you daydreaming about warmer days. While I’m a bourbon is my favourite spirit for most of the year, there are few things I like more than a gin and tonic on a hot summer’s day.
I’m definitely counting down the days to pool season, especially since the pool in my building was under construction throughout all of last summer, but I can’t complain too much about this winter. It’s been one of the mildest winters I can remember since moving to Ottawa in 2006.
Now that shorts and sundress weather is on the horizon, I’m doubly motivated to get to the gym so I can be looking toned for the first sliver of warmth. Luckily, my coworkers are providing all the encouragement I need through a little friendly competition.
I’m not really sure what the genesis for the competition was (as I wasn’t initially invited to participate, out of fear of my total dominance, I presume) but several of us have created a fitness calendar spanning from the last week in February until the end of March. We’ve plotted out our planned workouts, both in terms of frequency and format, and the person who accomplishes the most workouts by the end of March will win.
We haven’t decided on a prize yet but bragging rights are paramount. The one condition is that if you don’t do as many workouts as scheduled, all missed workouts will be deducted from your total score.
My friend Josie, of Austin “sneaky shots” fame, has set a very ambitious goal of 56 workouts in 38 days. I am coming in with the next highest estimation with 45 and everyone else is between 30-35 (like sane people). I would like to be clear: this is not an approach to exercise I would recommend to anyone. Obviously the risk of injury, fatigue or just getting sick from doing two-a-days is high or, if you’re Josie, three-a-days.
That being said, there’s no way I’m going to lose this competition. If I see Josie is pacing well towards her goal – I will start introducing weekend workouts. As it stands, I have plotted out all 45 workouts without sacrificing a single Saturday or Sunday.
Why am I so dead-set on winning you ask? Aside from being the most competitive person you know, I also probably exercise more often than anyone else in my office, up until this point. I do a high-intensity interval workout at Greco five days a week, yoga twice or three times, and have tennis once a week.
In addition, I have a tendency to talk about how well-defined my shoulders are in the office and it’s become a bit of a running joke. I’d have to stop doing that if I lost this fitness competition and I’m not prepared to sacrifice that privilege.
But, nevertheless, best of luck to my competition. May the odds be ever in your favour. Drinks on me if I lose – maybe this one.