This drink. It tastes like sunshine. Like sunshine, and summertime, and freshly mowed grass, and new garden dirt, and the rewarding physical exertion of being outside. It’s the drink of the summer for us… so tart, bright, and bubbly. The perfect celebration of refreshing taste and stifling heat. Oh yes, we’ll be seeing this a whooooole lot more in the coming months.
Although it screams sunshine and toasty weather, it actually came about back in January. We had begrudgingly started thinking about exercise again (after the wreckage of Christmas calorie consumption died down), and were looking for some kind of lighter cocktail we could try. The boy read if you mixed a bit o’vodka with lemon or lime sparkling water, with a fresh squeeze of either citrus, it’s mighty good.
But the taste of strong liquor terrifies me, even one that’s as mild and easily adaptable as vodka. I tried the concoction, agreeing it wasn’t overly strong. In fact, it was pretty subtle in its all-around flavor. Maybe that’s a good thing? Maybe mixed drinks should be simple and sophisticated like that – not inundated with sugar flavors and bright colors that make it look like it belongs on the inside of a Chili’s bar menu?
Maybe. But not today. The next time we made the drink, we added a hefty pour of organic orange juice with the vodka, and the juice of a whole half lime. About 1/3 of the final product was lime Topo Chico – the happy, green-bottled sparkling water from Mexico that we buy in bulk from our local Costco. I’m not sure if the folk lore is true and it did cure the disease of an Aztec princess hundreds of years ago, but Ben Gibbard gave it a shout-out at a Death Cab for Cutie concert at the Moody Theatre last year, so that’s enough.
This drink is simple with only 4 ingredients, and completely satisfying. Equal parts vodka and high quality organic orange juice, lime juice, and lime sparkling water. You can make the base of the drink in a pitcher and simply top off each ice-filled glass with a hefty pour o’Topo, or make them in a small shaker and split between two people, preferably in awesome, monstrous glass tumblers like the ones I found here (inspired by the huge ones Frank Underwood drinks bourbon from in the latest season of House of Cards…. Meechummmmmmmm!).
So pour yourself a glass, sit on whatever sunny porch you can find, and enjoy the bright, toasty months ahead.
- 6 oz vodka
- 6 oz quality organic orange juice
- 1 lime
- Lime Topo Chico, or a lime-flavored sparkling water
- In a shaker, combine the vodka, orange juice, and juice of one lime. Add a few cubes of ice. Cover and shake well.
- Fill two medium-sized glasses with ice. Evenly distribute the cocktail between the two, leaving a bit of room.
- Top off each glass with the lime-flavored mineral water. You can do this to taste, using more or less dependent on your preference. We used about 3 or 4 ounces in each glass.
- Stir gently to distribute. Top with a lime wedge and serve chilled.