Friday, July 21, 2006

IMG_1193Hurrah, my grand plan is complete.

Well nearly. Blasted triple sec.

Guess who has been slowly accreting the ingredients for Long Island Iced Tea every time Sainsbury's has one of the spirits on offer. Which meant last weeks' very cheap shop, wasn't quite so cheap due to the litre of vodka that went through among the nine pence loaves and packs of bagels.

But after a week of living on increasingly stale bread and cheap tomatoes I decided it was time for some calories. And alcohol's nearly the same as protein. Ish.

So first things first, I look up a recipe for the drink. Actually, I've probably got it in a book somewhere. And I've just remembered the cocktail shaker I was once given, which I must still have somewhere. Probably in a different county though.

So one first Google result later, and I'm realising I'm only halfway there. Who on earth actually has tequila? Or rather who has enough left in a bottle to make drinks with, rather than a sticky empty bottle with a stupid hat on top and a certain 18 hours the owner will not talk about? There's probably a reason people only drink it very quickly.

So that's one ingredient which will just have to stay missing. Next is rum, which I have, even though it's dark rum (well, it's supposed to look like tea, so who cares). Gin is easy, and probably less expensive per drink than tonic.

Triple sec I do not have, but I think it's vaguely orangey, so might substitute a small glug of orange juice (it'll just have to be milky tea).

Sweet and sour mix sounds fearsome, and I have a hunch they don't mean that viscous orange stuff which comes in polystyrene cups. I also vaguely remember being told once that it was mostly sugar and lemon juice, which I can do.

1 Splash Coca-Cola. Or rip-off own-brand stuff because it's half the price and I'll only have it for mixing drinks (and having tasted it unmixed, possibly cleaning the loo).

So first scavenge ice from the freezer, then anoint with currently owned spirits and finally coke. Taste. Shudder. Decide that the thing which is 1.5 to everything else's one might be important. Add a teaspoonful of sugar and a few glugs of lemon juice. Taste again. No shudder, but bizarrely tasteless. Decide to add orange juice to improve taste. Add a glug. Retaste. Still lacking. Consider adding Angostura bitters and so pretending it's Earl Grey, but decide against it. Retaste. Not bad, just not stunning either. Maybe it just needs to brew for a bit. Absentmindedly* retaste, and discover it's not water. But the alcohol sensation seems to have completely disappeared, as has the ice. Decide commenting and blogging would be good, although I do wish my arms would stop alternating between sticking to the desk and skidding along it. Discover that the drink's nearly gone and most of the sugar is sitting in the bottom of the mug. And the alcohol's back. And it's gone warm. Better finish it before the Drosophila move in.

Oh. Apparently I neglect to stir it. It's gone a bit rumtopf, so the clamminess has been resurrected and my ears are suddenly navigation beacons (and'll probably turn my stereo on in a minute). Hmm, sucre med alkohol ist gezehren gud.

Anyway, I still have that asterisk to deal with so I'd better stop typing here. Oh, and why am I drinking? Because I went shopping. Or rather took SG shopping (because being male, I'll know where all the female clothes shops are). And having been shopping, and berated her for being adventurous in picking grey marl over her standard navy blue (God knows what she thinks it makes her look like), and discovered she doesn't like showing, ooh, any flesh whatsoever, complains people think she's childish (she asked if I knew where to get dungarees for God's sake. I was good, and didn't say 1978), and then decided to overcompensate [on one scale] by picking a horizontal striped jumper in orange and mauve. My own fault really. I only took her into BHS to make a point. Fortunately she was dissuaded from buying it (oh, it'll still be here next time; it's not like anyone's going to buy it). It reached the point where I made her try on some hugely over-budget, flowing, flowering dress in John Lewis's just to get her used to the fact she's female. Of course she refused to come out of the changing room in it, a situation I could not rectify due to standing outside the wrong set of changing rooms. And my God, how the hell can women shop? Everywhere worked on different sizing systems, and I haven't a clue where a 12 comes next to a 34 or US 8 or a Euro 46 or a medium. And that's before we get into the traditional Debenhams small is a Next medium or whatever. The only size we actually know she is happens to be an H&M mens' medium and that's because the only thing she bought (actually I bought, due to some BOGOF on sale items and owed money for a theatre programme) was a long sleeve blue and white t-shirt. Spot who had run out of resistance and was distracted by the polo shirts.

And then I went off to get a card for my brother's birthday, by which time John Lewis's had closed, so I ended up at the Royal Academy (stone courtyards filled with jazz and the sounds of people on a summer evening aren't the best places for a phone call, especially not when on such unexpected subjects as Minoan Drosophila) hurriedly scanning their shop.

During this time SG apparently bought my birthday present, which she gave to me, along with a card, neither of which I opened as it's not Tuesday. So she then managed to send me an email asking how to revive a pigeon (er, throw it out of the window; if it flies it'll be fine, if not then it was probably going to die anyway, so now you've put it out of it's misery) and asking if I liked the album. I hadn't even done the Lego test yet, and already she's told me what it was. Ok, so I knew as it fell out of the wrapping paper when I moved it, but I did put it back very quickly. Anyway, should anyone be feeling generous, please do not get me the new Muse album (or any of the others come to that) as I appear to already have it. I firmly expect to listen to it fairly soon, although I strongly suspect it may get borrowed at dawn the 26th.

And I should be more trusting. My reaction as the CD fell to the floor (still in the cellophane - obviously SG is not used to giving CDs) was "wow, something I actually like. That was unexpected**". Oh hell, I've just remembered I've got GA's present to get, and she's have a party and everything (with Womblehunt) and has very inconsiderately given me a list of options (I hope it's not the same as everyone else, because I suspect a dozen books on sail trimming might be too many) so I can't do the usual panicked candle/candlestick/vase/mug/random lump of glass/plant/have-I-done-candles/but-it's-a-different-shape-chunk-of-glass? Sod it, if it gets to this time next week and I'm still stuck, she can have cheap DVD of Ghostbusters (but only because I couldn't find Look Who's Talking 2 on DVD).

* Or should that be 'absinthe-mindedly'? I know I'm not drinking absinthe, but it's a pun, and thus too great an opportunity to neglect through a distaste for arbitrary shoehornerying. Ok. Sorry. Absolut-mindedly? Even though in my case it's Smirnoff-mindedly. But I better stop this train of thought before I read the Cyrillic which isn't BO[delta]KA. And the Gordon's dragon is a bit odd. And why do only the Germans need to know that Captain Morgan's is flavoured with caramel? Actually it might be Dutch, because it's med Karamel.

** In my family it's a rare occurrence. Christmas included "Oh wow, it's a, er [reads] trivet. And it's made of wood. I'm sure that'll come in useful, just as soon as I have a wooden table I need to protect from hot dishes I don't currently own. It's the thought that counts. I can't work out what that was, but I'm sure it counts. By the way, how did you like your teapot? I wasn't sure whether to go with the milk or the plain, and I didn't think the white was you." and "A wind up torch-radio? You know this is exactly the type of thing I'd never think of buying for myself, and I don't already have one. So thank you".

Discover random typed yet forgotten paragraph in text box. Decide to leave because the deleting seems damned fiddly.

Oh, who am I kidding? I'm making it in a free Natwest mug (never banked with them, but they do make good mugs) and using a film container as a measure (I've no idea how many millilitres a Kodak is, although it's actually a Fuji). I need to switch to a larger format.

Anyway, it's suddenly after midnight, and I'm parent, brother and his girlfriend fending tomorrow (ok, so in previous references I might used the word "stoke") so I'd better go to bed.



PS. Remembering this is a blog and not email might be useful when typing the end of the post.

OK, I had no idea you were a fan of the Long Island Iced Tea. 5 white alcohols, splash of coke, a bit of sweet & sour mix, and you're done. That's all there is to it.

Anything much more complicated than that isn't worth the effort.
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