When I picture my perfect Memorial Day — meaning the Monday proper, after most of us have had our share of barbecue beers and whatnot — what I’d really like to do on that day is sit on a porch, in a nice, big, comfy chair (rocking, or Adirondack — I’m not picky) and spend the afternoon reading a good book and sipping on something wonderful. 

The key part of that scenario is the porch. I love porches. Back decks are for frat boys; porches are for ladies. Patios are for Ice Storm-era outdoor key parties; porches are for timeless, halcyon-hazy relaxation and reflection. Stoops are for selling your old shit; porches are, gloriously, for doing as little shit as possible.

I’d made some iced tea earlier this week. I’d made it for Sean’s Uncle Kit, who had dinner at our place while he was in town for work and who doesn’t drink. I made an iced white tea infused with lemon and spiked with ginger water. (Ginger water = what’s left over when you boil fresh ginger to make candied ginger. I made a lot of candied ginger in the fall and saved the water in Popsicle molds.) It was so good that I couldn’t wait for my teetotaler to leave so I could use it to whip up a cocktail.


I actually think tea can go with a lot of liquors, but my gut was telling me rye for the spiciness and Aperol for the lovely color, the almost-fruity-kinda sweetness, and just cuz. (Even the just-cuz’ness is an essential ingredient here, I think, because thinking is exactly what I don’t want to do a lot of on my holiday. The point is, you just whip this up.) I wanted a drink that was appropriate to sip out of a Mason jar, and one that would taste just as good at the start as it would two hours later after all my ice cubes had melted.

Happy Memorial Day!

The Porchtime Sipper

2 ounces Old Overholt

1 ounce Aperol

4 ounces lemon-infused, ginger water-spiked, iced white tea

Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled Mason jar. Stir briskly for about a minute. Enjoy.

Tasting Notes

Don’t be freaked out by the seeming superfanciness of the iced tea. I promise you that any non-black tea will work. Just give it a good squeeze or two of lemon, and if you’ve got something to approximate ginger’s piquant quality — spicy bitters, ginger syrup… hell, I bet even a dash of hot sauce would do well here — then just go with it.

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