Having grown up in California, I’ve always thought that I new what “The American Summer” looked like. In the states the season has a distinct element of depravity that European, tropical, or island summers just don’t have. A base level lackadaisical hedonism that for me is distinctly American. I’m thinking of untraceable poolside days and nights, lying on warm car hoods (mostly in parking lots) in the wee hours of the morning, dirty dirty hip hop, chlorine discolored hair, and dried splotches of chemical stickiness everywhere you go. I’ve always loved the fact that we’re the type of culture that has made blurry and muted dog days tradition. Hell, the closest thing we have to a classic summer cocktail is pouring vodka into a slurpy.
Yes, the perception was glorious while it lasted.
I recently took a trip to New haven CT and I quickly realized that there is an entirely contrary version of Americana that exists on east coast.This buttoned up culture makes up for every ounce of apathy that it’s bastard west coast sibling has squandered away. Although the humidity worked against this perception; there, everything in sight felt bright and crisp. From the manicured “greens” (and they actually were green) at the center of each town, to the bright American flags that hung over homes so quaint it was hard for me to believe they weren’t sets; the east coast had a feeling of deep seated tradition in every aspect of how summer was lived. Pressed garments and summer hats were worn to eat lobster rolls, board boats, sit under stripped shore-side umbrellas all the while drinking beautiful and refreshing summer cocktails. Although I felt like a fish out of water, there was something very satisfying about taking part in activities that felt like they were what the country was built on. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll always be a dirty California girl, but seeing the loveliness of the summer customs that our country does have makes me want to import some of the traditions into my summers here. For now, I’ll start with my favorite of the cocktails that I had on the east coast; the Pimm’s Cup.
This awesome drink is crisp, delicious, and because it’s so light you can drink it all day long. To make your own Pimm’s Cup simply mix equal parts Pimm’s, lemonade, and seltzer water. Then garnish the drink with orange slices and cucumber and you’re good to go. As you can see, we threw in a few strawberries too which I highly recommend if you have them lying around.