I may be wrong, I usually am even though I pretend I’m not, but with the temperature already creeping into the very high 80’s I think summer may have just hit south Florida. It’s a good thing and it’s a bad thing. Thankfully, we have ocean breezes and central AC. I hadn’t quite noticed that the heat was upon us but when Jimmy pulled out his bathing suit, rummaged around on his tobacco table for the perfect Sunday cigar and headed out to the pool for the second day in a row it dawned on me. Time to start really working out again and, by the way, a bikini wax wouldn’t hurt. I got my suit on, slung a towel over my shoulder and joined him. Tragically, the pool looked, well, not quite party ready. And the water was still too cold. I stood on the bench seat in the deep end and I wasn’t happy. I could feel myself getting crabby and peevish. I hate it when I get that way; I feel it coming and sometimes I can head it off and sometimes I can’t but today is my complete day off and, dammit, the pool looks like dump. There. I said it. I just stood there watching tiny, brown Royal Poinciana leaves slowly drift by as Jimmy was slowly pulling out any half dead liriope from around the pool. Watching him happily puffing away on his cigar, completely unaware of my crankiness, I thought, “No. I don’t want to waste my day being bitchy and frustrated and mean. There’s GOT to be something I can do to ward off this black mood.” And that’s when Jimmy said, still cleaning the pool, still completely oblivious there was a potential hissy fit a brewin’, “Man, I’d do anything for one of your frozen drinks right now.” I perked right up at the idea of outside day drinking. “Now you’re talkin’.”, I thought happily drying off thinking, “There’s GOT to be something frozen in that house I can blend with rum”. Task designed and assigned I headed off to the kitchen to see what we had. I knew we had a handle of Bacardi Lemon Rum living under the bar but with what to flavor it? I tore through the freezer past the now brick-like Tsoureki bread, moving aside the broad beans, the broccoli, the yuca. Geez, there’s GOT to be something in here. My hands, now blue with cold, raked through the bottom drawer looking for a peach or strawberry canned drink mix that I knew in my heart of hearts was long gone. “Damn,” I muttered to no one, “Disappointed!”, I yelled fully aware that only the dog would witness my tantrum. But, wait. What’s that acidy yellow plastic corner peeping out? Well, well, well. There is a God after all and He has given me a frozen solid pack of pure Lulo puree. For those of you who are not familiar with the magic of Lulo it’s a fruit from Colombia that imparts a lemony, citrus taste with a pineapple sidecar finish. I am happy now. In the blender I combined part of the of frozen Lulo pulp with some lemon flavored rum, a bit of sugar as the fruit is unsweetened and packed the blender with ice. After 60 seconds or so on “liquify” it was perfect. Smoother than a slushy from 7-11. I tasted it. Nope. It was too raw and sharp. This frozen mess needed something…anything. Wait, wait. There are half a dozen very tired strawberries killing time in the refrigerator until someone throws them out. Perfect. I tossed them in after lopping off their tops, added a few more ice cubes and a little more sugar and a star was born. After another 45 seconds swirling through the blender I ended up with a gorgeous, incredibly smooth, not too tart-not too sweet summer drink. I closed my eyes and savored the icy perfection slide down my throat. The afternoon was saved. So get to the grocery store and stock up not on the drink mixes in the can but frozen packets of fruit pulp and puree. The hispanic section will have a treasure trove of flavors so have a party and experiment. Even if it’s only the two of you! Guaranteed fun and you’ll be nice to the world.
Frozen Rum Drinks
- 7 ounces frozen fruit pulp or puree, lulo, guava, mango, it all works.
- 1 handful of fresh strawberries
- 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup lemon flavored rum, leave the rum out completely for a virgin version
- sugar to taste
- Place all the ingredients in a blender and process on liquefy until smooth.
- Taste for any additional needed rum or sugar and serve immediately.