drink: cold-brewed iced tea (and a challenge)

So, it’s been a while. And I’m not happy about that. I’ve been writing like crazy in other venues, finishing up a job that had run its course, and settling seriously into the process of planning my book. But I want to keep this little corner alive, to post about things that otherwise seem too fleeting, to give myself a place to put visual memories, sights and tastes and ideas. Like cold-brewed iced tea with lemon, for when it’s too hot to even boil water. There’s a real recipe over at Bon Appétit if you’re fancy.


Fill a big pitcher with water and dunk in as many Lipton tea bags as you like your tea strong. Give it a few hours, and add some lemon slices, and simple syrup if you like your tea sweet (/abominable). Drink, gasping, under the AC.

If you have some tea handy, here are some things I’ve been writing recently:

  • On the excellent, strange, unpublished memoir of an American WWII veteran, Shrapnel by William Wharton.
  • On three novels about Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, and why they remain objects of such fascination. I also wrote about College of One by Scott’s Hollywood lover Sheilah Graham, for The Rumpus, but that’s still in limbo.
  • And to celebrate the recent Supreme Court decision striking down DOMA, here’s a roundup of milestones in the battle for equality.

And the challenge. It’s July 1st, and I’m painfully aware that we just got back from Paris and I have endless photos to sort. Not just for that reason, but in general, I am challenging myself to blog *daily* during the month of July. Every day. Some piece of something. So here we go.


drink: the negroni

summer sundowner

So, it looks like it’s going to be a warm and sunny weekend here in New York, now that the threatened hurricanes have passed by. Toasting summer is easy with a negroni, the drink I have been unable to stop thinking about since reading Gabrielle Hamilton’s Blood, Bones and Butter (which I review here.) It also seems to be the fashionable cocktail du jour, along with other amaro-based concoctions, but it’s a classic – tart, fragrant, punch-packing and a breeze to make. Simply combine equal parts (1oz) gin, Campari and sweet vermouth and pour over a big hunk of ice. Garnish with a slice of orange. If you want the drink a little longer and more gentle, an Americano is basically the same thing with the gin swapped out for soda water. Happy summer!

isn't my basil doing well, btw?