One of the things I love most about San Francisco is that spring starts in January with the first blossoming of the black plums, and it’s not uncommon to have the occasional 70º day in February. Somewhat spontaneously, we hooked up with some friends for an afternoon of croquet in Golden Gate Park. (Yeah, I know — only a bunch of homosexuals would be out playing croquet on Super Bowl Sunday!) I won the first round, which is an anomaly, as I generally pretty much suck at croquet. The second round I was so far behind I eventually went on a suicide mission after the poison ball just to put myself and others out of my misery.
Of course, when playing croquet, there is but one cocktail that is uniquely suited to the task: the Pimm’s Cup. Pimm’s is a gin-based liqueur, dark in color and with an herbal and slightly bitter taste. But when you mix it with ginger ale, a squeeze of lemon and a cucumber spear, it becomes a most civilized and quaffable concoction. White V-neck sweater optional.
2 parts Pimm’s No. 1
3 parts ginger ale
Squeeze of lemon
1 spear cucumber, peeled and seeded
Assemble ingredients over ice and stir with cucumber spear.