Tom’s Summer Punch

Tom’s Summer Punch

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  1. Living in Southern California, one learns that there are two essentials when it comes to lessening the burdens of the summer heat and smog that blanket the Southland: stay cool and refreshed; and whenever possible, get drunk.  This is especially true when the Santa Anna Winds blow through the region; devil winds that howl through the passes and rage over hills and mountains alike, pushed by unwelcome high pressure ridges that force air molecules against the terrain creating great friction between them which results in increased heating of the already hot air.  These winds flow out of the northeast, usually, from the desert and finding Los Angeles after their confrontation with the aforementioned passes and mountains.  Because of the generated molecular friction, the winds are usually hotter once they reach the Southland than they were where they began in the desert.  The only good thing about the Santa Annas is that they clear the LA Basin of smog, which isn’t necessarily a good thing for those living by the beach—who usually enjoy the cleanest air available in Southern California—as the winds often die upon hitting the persistent onshore breeze from the ocean, thus parking the smog right on the coast.


    On such days, it’s especially important to do whatever you can to cool and refresh yourself.  Getting drunk is just a bonus, and achievable with this cocktail.

    I am including the original recipe for my summer punch, which is a fairly mild drink, plus a stronger version for those who wish to achieve the secondary objective more quickly, or who want to drink less with better results.


     This is a tequila drink, naturally, as it is extremely popular not only with the local Latino population.  Tequila—like rum—just seems to go with hot weather better than most liquors do.  But use some caution when drinking this, because the tequila can creep up on you when it’s really hot.

    One other thing: do not use expensive tequila in this drink; save it for sipping.  There are so many masking flavors in this cocktail that it would be a waste of fine tequila.  Stick with Cuervo or its equivalent.


    Here’s what you do:

    Fill a tumbler or hurricane glass with ice and add

    Normal                                                Strong

    • 1 oz. gold tequila                                2 oz. gold tequila
    • 1/2 oz. triple sec                                  1 oz. triple sec
    • 3 oz. Ginger Ale                                  2 oz. Ginger Ale
    • 1 1/2 oz. sour mix                                1 oz. sour mix
    • A splash of maraschino cherry juice or maraschino liqueur
    • A splash of Grenadine  
    • Garnish with a cherry and slice of orange, strawberry, pineapple or whatever fruit is on hand

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