A tall glass, clean and sparkling, smelling of linen from a warm tea towel, is rinsed in cold water, then placed, wet, onto a rack in the freezer. A lime is quartered on a wooden chopping board. Limey fingers are licked. The freezer is opened again. The glass is surrounded by ice-smoke, which billows and falls down the front of the fridge. A tray of ice cubes is removed. The tray is bent and twisted over the sink, so the cubes pop out. They are piled into a bowl, and put to one side. Minutes pass. Five, ten, fifteen. More. The glass is removed from the freezer. The water has frozen onto its surface in frost and ice diamonds. The glass is set on the bench. The frost begins to disappear, from the top down. A handful of ice is added to the glass. A piece of the lime is squeezed into the glass; its skin is scored with a sharp knife, releasing the citrus oil, and then it’s dropped into the cluster of ice. Gin is poured over the ice, which cracks as the liquor hits. The level of liquid comes to rest, halfway. It’s not all gin, of course. But, it’s more than a measure. It’s more than a double. This base, of gin-lime-ice, is topped with soda water from a small glass bottle, just-opened. The long drink is observed, eyes level with the rim of the glass. Tiny bubbles are jumping from the surface.
© Barry Lee Thompson and ‘Stories, by Barry Lee Thompson’, 2013.