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Summer Drinking

Have you walked into Staples lately? Well, I strolled in right before closing a few night’s ago and was struck with a whole in-your-face Back to School extravaganza. Yikes. How is July almost over? Thankfully we’re all about Indian SummersΒ  here in the Bay Area. But it did get me thinking that I should do some planning to make sure I squeeze in everything I want to do before September shows its face.Β  I was inspired to make a Summer List by Molly who was inspired by Maria. Both jotted down things they wanted to eat, feel, and think about while the days are long and the evenings are warm.

So here’s mine. I encourage you to jot a few things down, too. And while you’re at it, have a drink. Isn’t that what summer’s for? I recently discovered Pimm’s and a quick and ruthless obsession was born. If you don’t know Pimm’s, it’s a gin-based liquor that’s a little bit citrusy, a little bit spicy, but extremely light and crisp. I sip it straight, I add it to bubbly water and squeeze in lemons from my mom’s tree, I throw a bit into ginger beer or iced tea and give it a brisk stir. So in addition to your list, you can mix yourself up a quick Pseudo Pimm’s Cup, my version of the original that’s a tad bit bubbly, less sweet, and a little stronger. Just the way I like my drinks, as you already know. So here’s to making lists, drinking summery drinks, wearing flip-flops every day, reading bad magazines, and not stepping inside a Staples until (at least) September.

Read Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
Vietnamese iced coffee
Walk around Lake Merritt
Visit the Maira Kalman exhibit at the Contemporary Jewish Museum
Preserve tomatoes … for the dead of winter
Go to the beach
Stroll the ‘hood more. For no reason.
Eat more quiche
Check out Big Sur Bakery with Danielle
Dust off my bicycle
Get to know a few farmers at the market
Meet Sherman
Boozy cherries: make some. quick….


Pimm's Cup | A Sweet Spoonful

Pseudo Pimm's Cup

Yield: 2 cocktails
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins


2 oz. Pimm's
2 oz. Gin
2 oz. carbonated lemon water
2 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
sliced strawberries, cucumbers, and lemon for garnish


Mix all ingredients in a small pitcher or very large glass. Mix, mix, mix. Fill two low cocktail glasses with ice and pour mixture to the brim. Garnish with cucumber, strawberry and lemon slices

  1. Posted July 21, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Looks AWESOME! It’s 4:46 pm in Minneapolis. Although, I have no Pimm’s, which I keep meaning to buy… It’s on my list for tomorrow, for sure, can’t wait to make this. Yes!

  2. Posted July 21, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    I love the idea of a summer list. Since I work full time, and all through the summer, summer to me is no different than fall or spring or winter. But it should be, right? Longer days and all that. I need to make a point of enjoying the season – and the list is a fabulous idea.

    Thanks for inspiring, and thanks for the drink recipe. I have no Pimm’s, but I’m tempted to go buy some NOW.

  3. Rachael
    Posted July 21, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Sherman can’t wait to meet you either- he sends his message in barks, and I deciphered it here:

    Well, I sure am glad I made it on that list! I’ve begun quite the new trick of prancing around when I’m about to eat. It’s definitely hilarious I hear. I will make sure photos of me are sent soon! WOOOF!

  4. Posted July 21, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Just found your blog…

    Love your beautiful photos! I’m especially jealous because I just lost my camera with a full memory card. Boo.

    I’ll be visiting again soon! Your drinks pics made me thirsty…

  5. Posted July 22, 2010 at 6:44 am

    I like this list, i think you’re right, i have to make one!

  6. Posted July 22, 2010 at 7:11 am

    Great list! I’m definitely going to co-opt some of these ideas. πŸ™‚

    I got totally addicted to Pimm’s Cup in London – can’t wait to try your version!

    I can’t wait for the weather to finally get nice here. Summer starts in September, right? πŸ˜‰

  7. Suzanne T-H
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Hi Megan, I make boozy cherries by filling a jar with pitted fresh cherries and covering with maraschino liqueur. Stash in the back of the frig to last all year. When the cherries are gone the liqueur is still yummy in drinks or mixed in fruit salad.
    I’m with you -savor every warm, long day of summer and definitely don’t acknowledge those slightly anxiety producing back-to-school displays. Love!

  8. Posted July 22, 2010 at 9:26 am

    I fell in love with Pimm’s this summer, what a great cocktail it makes!

  9. megang
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Great idea, Suzanne! I’ll try that. I so love you you always comment on the cocktail posts πŸ™‚ Hopefully someday we’ll sit down together and have one. Have a great weekend.

  10. Posted July 22, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Mixing it up with Pims has been on my “to-do” list forever … so thanks for reminding me. Love what you’ve done with the drink, especially in toning down the sweetness and making it a bit stronger. Sounds magnificent!

    Loving the Summer List idea too … hooray for flip-flops and bad magazines!

  11. Posted July 22, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    As my oldest gets ready to start kindergarten in September, the whole back to school thing is starting to have a whole new meaning. But! It’s summer, let’s celebrate where we are rather than where we will be before we know it. It’s like the X-mas decorations that go up in October. Ugh. Anyway, I’ve never had Pimm’s in spite of living in London for a year. Will you make it for us when we party together chez moi?

  12. megang
    Posted July 22, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Sure I can make them at Casa Dana! So looking forward to it! Wheeeee

  13. Posted July 23, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    I *heart* Pimm’s, although the last time I had some was on a chilly boat on the Thames….not exactly ‘summer’ πŸ™‚ You’ve got a very ‘doable’ summer list there….the book is very inspiring, and pairing that with some Vietnamese coffee might just make you want to start running straightaway! And yes, Big Sur Bakery is a must-do!!

  14. Nhiro
    Posted July 23, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Ha, awesome. I just had a Pimm’s Cup earlier today. (: I like mine with lemonade and a splash of ginger ale.

  15. Posted July 24, 2010 at 5:07 am

    I feel exactly the same way about summer. It’s just going too fast! So glad I’ve found your blog. Great photos and writing… can’t wait to browse through your past posts.

  16. Mary
    Posted July 24, 2010 at 7:29 am

    LOVE Pimms Cups. Have never made at home – will do soon. Recently had one @ Thermidor with blackberry syrup. Fab list too, Megan. Saw Maira Kalman exhibit 2x – a creative genius. Had not realized how big her body of work is. Also not usually a fan of art work turned into merchandise but found myself trolling eBay for the Kate Spade raincoat featured in the exo.

  17. megang
    Posted July 24, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Glad to hear the exhibit was great, Mary. I’m so, so excited to check it out and find her–like you said–an absolute genius. Be careful with ebay…it’ll suck you in! Happy weekend.

  18. Posted July 24, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Is it weird that I can’t stomach gin? I like Pimm’s but have to go overboard the addition of lemonade. I love your list, totally and completely. Summer has FLOWN by and, though I adore fall, I need to fit in a few more lazy days. I think I’ll need to write a list in my journal tonight.

  19. megang
    Posted July 24, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    No, I used to hate gin, actually. Always reminded me of pine needles, so I don’t think it’s weird at all. Sort of suddenly grew on me. You could absolutely just leave it out and it’d be just as good…

  20. Christa
    Posted July 25, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Here’s to Pimm’s cups (and pseudo Pimm’s cups)! They serve ’em here in Denver but they cost $10 a pop!! Nice to have my own recipe and I am going to buy a bottle ASAP. My friends just turned me on to your blog. They offered to make the cranberry pepita pasta the other night and I thought, that sounds gross. I am a Minnesotan though so I never say stuff like that out loud. Turns out it was great and my husband is vegan so we now have a new recipe in our arsenal. Your site and your positive attitude are delightful. Thanks for reinforcing the idea that healthy food is tasty food when done right. Can’t wait to try the blackberry muffins! I’ll be back.

  21. Posted July 25, 2010 at 9:23 am

    My husband and I was just thinking the same thing, that July is almost over and it would be fall soon.I should get a bottle of Pimms too and make the most of this season.

  22. Posted July 26, 2010 at 3:36 am

    Pimms is absolutely one of my favourite drinks in the summer and I love your version of it!

  23. Posted July 26, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    I can’t believe how, but this is actually my first time here – and I love it!
    Your pictures are very pretty and your stories are wonderful.
    That first picture of your drink looks perfect, it feels like I know how it tastes just by looking at it (although I’ve never tried Pimm’s before).

  24. Posted July 26, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    we’ve been searching for the perfect pimm’s cup, and now we must try your lovely version too. thank u!

  25. Posted July 27, 2010 at 10:16 am

    I have heard all about Pimm’s but have yet to try it. Sounds like I need it in my life! Love your summer list, too πŸ™‚

  26. Posted July 27, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Refreshing drink perfect for the hot summer weather. There is still plenty of time for beach dinners, the race track, and midnight swims!

  27. Posted July 27, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Some of us may want to forget the bubbly water altogether and just use simple syrup and lemon juice…
    It seems that our taste in drinks are polar opposite…although all your drinks looks delicious (once 3 tbs of sugar have been added).

  28. Posted July 28, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    I want to preserve tomatoes this year too. Your Pimm’s looks very pretty. I’ve been writing a Not Someday List. A Summer List is a good idea too.

    Summer List

    1. Preserve Tomatoes

  29. megang
    Posted July 28, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Love it! The good news is that it’s a little early for us, tomato-wise. I’m trying to grow them and it’s a slow, slow start and I haven’t fallen in love with the ones at the farmer’s market yet…so I think we can stretch this one out at least a month if not two πŸ™‚

  30. Posted July 30, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Oh, I’d love to can tomatoes too! And, I’d love to invite myself along to the Big Sur Bakery outing! *wink*

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