The lazy dog days of summer are upon us! Kyle and I have been saving our pennies for the many many wedding expenses (t-minus 74 days!), which means our summer has been a quiet one. It’s forced us to think a little bit more about how we can spend time without spending a ton of money.
I bought a cheap cruiser bike on Craigslist (a temporary solution until I can invest in a long-term road bike) and I’ve been trying to use it in lieu of a car whenever I can. There’s something about bicycling through town on a nice summer day that just makes you feel like a little kid again.
Along with bike rides, we’ve taken some pretty drives, started to tackle the crazy urban garden behind our apartment, and even found a local rec pool to soak up some sun. It so tough to come up with cheap or free activities to do (especially with all the amazing bars and restaurants in the Bay Area), but I think it’s made me appreciate smaller moments that don’t require fancy reservations or a newly-deposited paycheck—and has got me thinking about how I want to spend my time in a larger sense. I’ve realized I’m actually happier spending the afternoon reading a library book in the park than I am dressing up and going to a $300 dinner in San Francisco. I prefer a long hike with Kyle to of-the-moment show tickets any day. Quiet versus loud. Simple over complicated. Serendipitous, not forced.
It reminds me of a quote I read this weekend: “Gratitude reminds us that what we have is enough.” So that’s where my focus is this summer: the small moments of unexpected, unplanned, unfussy joy. Free moments that were somehow graciously given to me every day. What more can I ask for?
Ok, maybe one thing: This berry bourbon bramble. This is one of those cocktails that begs for the sprawling, wrap-around front porches of the south. The ones lined with wicker loveseats that you could spend hours in listening to your parents and grandparents regale you with stories you’ve heard dozens of times, and others you can’t believe you’ve never heard before. It’s a cocktail meant to be sipped with a side of laughter and a big sigh of happiness.
While the cubes make for a fun presentation, the blueberries could instead simply be muddled with the blackberries—a simple alteration when you just want your darn bourbon, already. Build, imbibe and enjoy.
Berry Bourbon Bramble
makes 1 cocktail; build each individually
- 1.25 oz bourbon; I used Heritage Distilling’s Elk Rider Bourbon
- .75 oz St. Germain
- .5 oz simple syrup
- .5 oz lime
- 1 oz blackberry juice (muddled and strained)
- soda water
- blueberry ice cubes (freeze in 2 parts – adding blueberries with each water addition)
Fill high ball glasses with the blueberry ice cubes; add blackberry syrup. Add all other ingredients, except soda water, to a shaker filled with ice; shake until cold, then strain into the glass. Top with soda water.