Howdy Shaker fans, Shaker Two here with a quick weekend post from Shakerland. I just got back from a lovely weekend in Palm Springs with old friends. I thought I would write a little post recapping a fabulous find in this Shaker’s world.
So for those not familiar with Palm Springs, it is a kind of resort town east of Los Angeles and historically known for being a playground for celebrities (its heyday being in the 60’s with the likes of the Rat Pack, Doris Day, Bob Hope and many other stars of years gone by escaping the wilds of H-wood for this little oasis in the middle of the desert) and retirement folks and the gay community. A mix of mid-century modern and Spanish architecture nestled at the base of Mount San Jacinto…in the desert.
Keyword here being desert.
Meaning this shaker spent the last couple of days in what felt like a blast furnace. 114 degrees to be precise. Don’t give me the line about it being a dry heat. Anything over 95 is hot. I am from Texas, I grew up in hot. I am not a fan of hot – at least weather wise.
To try and avoid and counteract some of this lovely weather, my friends planned a trip up the tram to the top of Mt. San Jacinto for a nature hike with some lovely views of Palm Springs below. It was 25 or so degrees cooler up there, so that was nice. Until we descended back into the center of hellfire. We took a bit to shower, then headed to the Riviera Palm Springs for a couple cocktails (the three of us all being dirty in our selection – ratings from mildly profane to X-rated on the dirty scale.) the bartenders served up some fine examples. Mine even had some gloriously delicious ice chips in it. Water it down, you say? I took it as a bonus to help keep this girl cool. The Riviera has recently been remodeled into a gorgeous homage to it’s Hollywood Glam history. Fabulous – go check it out just for the interior alone.
Next we went to dinner at Wang’s in the Desert. This is a lovely Chinese restaurant with good service, tasty fried wonton and fabulous mandarin pork and tangerine beef. They also had a tasty concoction on their drink menu that propelled the night into full speed. Here is the description from their menu:
Palm Springs Iced Tea Cocktail $5.5
Cool and refreshing cocktail made with
Seagram’s Sweet Tea Flavored Vodka,
Lemonade and a splash of Soda
served on the rocks in a 1/2 liter personal carafe
I was skeptical, but my friend Jim said I needed to try this. I mean seriously – Sweet Tea flavored VODKA?!? It sounded foul. Jim basically said shut up and order it.
O. M. G. In a million years I would not have believed that this would be good. I would have been so wrong maintaining that belief. This was a luscious alcoholic Arnold Palmer. It was smooth, cool, refreshing and had a kick. I would also like you to note the price. $5.50 for a half liter carafe. squeeeeeaaallll!!!
Our trio inhaled a couple of these each, then moved onto another hotspot: Hunter’s. On a whim, we asked if they had the Sweet Tea Vodka and could they make us an Arnold Palmer with it. Joy! They did and they could. Katy bar the door, let the drinking begin. This version was made without the soda, so had a bit more of a kick then the Wang’s version – but just as effective in smoothness, flavor and refreshment. Cost: $5. I am used to $12-$14 per drink. It was like Christmas in the desert!!
I cannot WAIT to hunt the Seagram’s Sweet Tea vodka down and enjoy a summer of gloriously refreshing AP’s with a kick.
Serve them over ice with a spring of mint and wedge-o-lemon if you choose.
Stay tuned. We may fit in a little shake for Bastille Day……….a bientot!