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Since today is Memorial Day, I thought I’d do a drink. My friend Melissa and I went out dancing on Friday night, and had a couple of these refreshing cocktails before we went out. It was very classy pre-gaming, since we are nothing if not classy ladies!

The way I made these was no exact science, so I’ll give you the gist and you can go from there. For each drink, you’ll need about 3 oz. lemonade, 1 1/2 oz. vodka, a handful of frozen strawberries, a few basil leaves, and a handful of ice cubes. Put the ingredients in a blender and blend until the ice and strawberries are fully broken down and the mixture is nice and frothy. Taste and adjust if necessary.

Happy Memorial Day!

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When I had just finished my freshman year of college, I spent a month out in the Hamptons as a nanny, taking care of a bunch of kids at a women’s artist colony. It was a great time, driving to the beach, hanging out at the East Hampton library, and unwinding in the hot tub right outside my bedroom door. For three of the four weeks, I had a co-nanny named Mae, but for one week she had to be back in the city, so a girl whose name escapes me came to help out. She was Russian, and among other things, I remember her commenting on how where she grew up water was relatively precious, so the concept of a hot tub was utterly ridiculous. I also remember her making strawberry tea.

We went strawberry picking with the kids one day – really we picked the strawberries and tried to keep the group of toddlers from disappearing or destroying plants or falling over. We had a surplus of strawberries. So the other nanny decided to use some of them to make strawberry tea, a treat she used to have when she lived in Russia. It’s simple enough – sliced strawberries boiled in water with some sugar, but it’s delicious in a way that “strawberry” soda never can be. It actually tastes like strawberries.

I added some lemon juice and lemon zest to mine, along with 1/2 pint of halved strawberries (they didn’t look so hot so I decided instead of eating sub-par strawberries or worse yet, throwing them away, boiling them was a solution), 10 cups of water, and 3 T. of sugar. I let it simmer until the fruit looked sapped of its color and the water had turned bright pink, skimmed out the fruit, let it cool, and transferred it to a pitcher.

It’s light, not too sweet, and a great way to use up strawberries that aren’t firm or unblemished enough to eat otherwise. It seemed like a nice way to kick off the official beginning of spring.

I don’t know when the Greyhound was ever popular as a drink, if ever. But I propose we bring it back. It’s so simple: just grapefruit juice and vodka. It’s way classier than vodka and orange juice, and in my opinion, 100 times tastier too. Maybe it’s because I don’t like sweet drinks, but the tartness of the grapefruit juice is so refreshing, and it covers up the vodka’s non-taste very nicely. Try one and I promise it will be your new drink of choice. img_1727

Wine will save your life. Even the New York Times says so. (I ignore pesky words like “may”)

Wine May Lower the Risk of a Rare Esophageal Cancer

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