Today is the official first day of summer, which means it’s only going to get hotter here in Austin. A lot of my clients that are moving to Austin from cooler states ask me how the summers are here, and I never sugar coat it. It’s hot. Very hot. You’re going to sweat a lot, and your’e going to need to cool down.
Luckily there are two very good solutions to both those problems. Swimming, and deliciously refreshing summer time drinks. Over the years I’ve shared a lot of my favorites on my newsletter so I’ve decided to do a big round up here of how to survive a summer in Austin.
Let’s start with the swimming. If you are lucky enough to have a swimming pool at your house you can probably just skip over this part to the drinks section below. If you have been wanting to build your own pool you might want to check out my post on the cost of building a pool in Austin. I’ve tried to be as transparent as possible about our pool build and the post is hopefully full of useful hints.
If you don’t have a pool, and building one isn’t in the cards, you would be surprised with what you can accomplish with a kiddie pool and a little creativity. The pool above was $30 on closeout from HEB and provided a month or two of relief from the heat. You can read about it here.
Of course if that’s not your thing you are still in luck, because there is no shortage of good watering holes and public swimming pools around town to cool off in. There are the obvious ones like Barton Springs (hint, go in the back gate it’s quicker) or if you prefer you can get a day pass at several hotels. I’m pretty partial to neighborhood pools as well, they are free and usually less crowded. Commons Ford and Canyon Lake (go to the park by the dam, that’s where the photo above was taken) are great too, especially later in the season when the greenbelt starts to dry up.
That should take care of the swimming part, now on to refreshments. If you don’t drink, maybe just stick to no churn ice cream. It might just change your life. Full recipe here. For all you drinkers out there one of my favorite summer time drinks is the gin and tonic. I like mine extra tall with a whole lime squeezed into it. That’s the way my mom used to take hers. A fun variation is the frozen gin and tonic. Intrigued? Here you go…
EXTRA FANCY’S FROZEN GIN & TONIC (via)
1½ oz. gin
½ oz. tonic syrup (use a good-quality commercial brand such as Small Hand Foods or Tomr’s Tonic)
½ oz. simple syrup (1:1)
¾ oz. fresh lime juice
1 thin slice cucumber
Garnish: lime wheel
Combine all the ingredients in a blender with 1 cup of ice and blend until smooth. Pour into a jar and garnish.
Rob Krueger, Extra Fancy, Brooklyn, New York