96 and Going to Havana

Officially, the high in Manhattan (Kansas) yesterday was 96 degrees F; but the official temperature is taken at the airport outside of town, and is always lower than what you’ll find recorded on any thermometer in town. According to ours, it was 101. Downtown, we experience heat reflected off streets and buildings and generated by equipment. In fact, different neighborhoods, even different properties can seem to have their own miniature climate zones. The back yard of the house on the corner near us, for example, is always a few degrees warmer than ours because it receives more reflected heat from the brick of Seven Dolors Church.

With the hot summer temperatures – though not as hot as they are likely to get later in the summer – one of our return guests surprised us yesterday with a bottle of Cuban Havana Club rum. When someone shows up at your door with such a gift, and it is so very hot, what can you do but make Havanas, sit on the front porch, and relax?


recipe from The Art of The Bar: Cocktails Inspired by the Classics, by Jeff Hollinger & Rob Schwartz

1 1/2 oz. Gosling’s rum

3/4 oz. Cointreau

1/2 oz. fresh lime juice

Splash fresh orange juice

Dash of Orange bitters

Edible Flower for garnish

Line the rim of a cocktail glass with sugar. Combine ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker, shake, and then strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with flower.

(As you can tell from my photos, I was too tired yesterday to strain the cocktails, but I enjoy the pulp from the fresh fruit anyway … and it was so hot, we really wanted ice. And obviously, we substituted rums.)

9 responses to “96 and Going to Havana

  1. Even the Appalachians are hot this week. We really notice the difference that buildings and streets make in generating and retaining the heat. We work in a moderate sized city but live in the woods. The city remains hot all night, while our temperatures here drop 10 to 20*F as the sun goes down. I see that you use daylilies decoratively in your drinks. Do you eat them also? We have read that you can do this.

    • I have a good friend who grew up in the Appalachians and she has told me many stories about sweltering summers during her childhood. Daylilies are edible. Different varieties have different tastes. To me, the common daylily (Hemerocallis fulva) tastes a little like cucumber. I don’t like them enough to make a snack out of them alone, but they are good in salads and for garnishes. I’ll try to make a point of writing about edible flowers sometime soon. Thanks for the question!

      • We have been eating nasturtium flowers for years. Very peppery on a salad. Good with a simple olive oil and vinegar dressing on a hot day. I look forward to your post.

  2. It was about 100 in Denver yesterday and it’s supposed to be hot all week. I love dark rum, I will try this out later this week!

    • Wow! That’s hot for Denver. Enjoy your cocktails! By the way, one of my helpers is from Denver and she goes back once in a while. Is there a shop that she can look in for your tea?

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