Though I was raised sipping on Mama’s Old Fashioned’s, I also hold fast to her dictate to drink “Gin in the summer, bourbon in the winter.” One of my favorite memories of Mama is attending a very hoity toity Southern wedding with her that was unwisely held outside one Memorial Day weekend. My boyfriend, Lee, was melting in his seersucker and we spent half the ceremony looking longingly toward the bar, counting the minutes till we heard “I Do” and we could make a beeline to order something long and cool. Mama went to fetch the first round and, after a long wait, she finally returned with our drinks. I asked what took so long and she wrinkled her nose and said the waiter had made the weakest gin and tonic she’d ever tasted. “So I took my glass straight back to him and said ‘Fill it up with gin and just add a tablespoon of tonic.'” Then she paused in her story, turned to me and said “Don’t you write I said that.” Sorry Mama. It’s why I love you.
These days the hot weather has laid over my city like a wet wool blanket. I’m taking my Mama and Joe Ely’s advice to break out the gin, making sure to mix it with a tablespoon or two of tonic. You know, to keep the malaria at bay.