Long Island Ice Tea…

Thursday 29 July 2021

Was I the only one not to know about Long Island iced tea …

For the first time since January 2020, I meet up with one of my oldest friends for a day of cocktails and catching up. A momentous occasion, because simply getting to this point has been a true covid-endurance test. We tried last Summer but were hit by the Greater Manchester Lockdown. We tried at October half -term but were thwarted by both Lancashire and Greater Manchester being dumped into Tier 4. And since the ‘unlocking’, it has been an endless, sometimes demoralising, litany of burst bubbles and isolation orders. But finally…finally we are here and intending to make the most if it. And I have been given a top tip…

Yes, earlier in the week, I take my daughter and niece out for food and drinks. As I mention my ‘cocktail’ day plan they chime in with ‘student land’ advice,

When I was at Uni, if we did cocktails , my trick was always to start with a Long Island iced tea…” announces my niece confidently

Me too” agrees my daughter, adding as I continue to look confused, “It’s the same price as all the other cocktails Mum, but you get 4 alcohol shots instead of 2…”

So as my friend and I settle into a trendy greenhouse booth in a Spinningfields bar and peruse the drinks menu, I decide that I am going to give it a go. My friend checks out the theory

It does look lethal! It’s not 4 shots…it’s five!”

But,” I point out, “it is a ‘long’ drink…so it will last…

Whether it lasted a long time or not, I really couldn’t tell you. But we certainly have a lot of fun! I think, about an hour and half later, after much chat and tons and tons of laughter, we climb out of our greenhouse pod to find a leisurely lunch, with glass of wine. Then it is another bar, before we seek out a final ‘coffee and carbs’ to sober up a little before the tram and train rides home.

Such a great afternoon! I really do think that, to be a good mum, you need days when you forget about being a parent for a few hours and just let your hair down. It recharges the batteries and lifts the spirits like nothing else. And after a year and a half of pandemic, I am aware that I have been running low on such times. On the home-bound tram, another friend, I am due to see next week, calls and I tell her, with great excitement about my new cocktail ‘discovery’

Oh yes,” she replies “Long Island iced tea – completely lethal. I used to have one after work every Friday. Once had two .. and could hardly walk!”

The fact that I am clearly the last to this particular party makes me laugh out loud in my seat and I am a little too tipsy to care whether any of my fellow mask-faced passengers notice. After a grim 18 months of battling covid-19, laughter … and possibly Long Island iced tea…really are the best medicine…