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Do you remember how the beginning of summer feels?

As adults, every season seems to flow seamlessly into the next–you know, kind of like sand in an hour glass.    But just try to remember for the moment the feeling of waking up that first morning of summer break when you were in fifth grade.  No responsibilities other than mom’s chore list.  Those summers seemed to last FOREVER.

Summer on the farm is by far the busiest season for all of us.  Just keeping up with mowing the lawn and tending to the vegetable garden can easily monopolize anything resembling a free moment,  but last night as the sun settled beneath the treeline for its nightly slumber, I stepped out onto the back porch and inhaled.

Some scrupulous readers might ask what exactly I was inhaling…

Lilacs
Lilacs
The lilacs had a banner year at the farm, and the bushes that line the western porch are having their last hooray.  (Walking out the kitchen door is not for those with super-sensitive olfactory abilities or those with allergies.)

For a brief moment I felt that thrill again–of a long summer full of anticipation, of long days, of sweating and swimming pools and laughter.

As quickly as it  came, it escaped me.

I went inside and awaiting me in my email inbox was a message from my friend Garth reminding me that I had promised to come up with a summer cocktail idea for The American Hotel this summer.   Wouldn’t it be nice to recapture that moment standing on the backporch amidst the lilacs?

With very little hesitation, an idea came to me.  The Beekman Backporch Bliss will be served at the hotel throughout the season.

The Beekman Backporch Bliss
The Beekman Backporch Bliss

To a glass of champagne or prosecco add a splash of lilac simple syrup (the best summer cocktails are always simple).

For our simple syrup recipe, click here

A little champagne always helps to bring back those youthful passions!

by Dr. Brent

Reader Comments

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John Black

I think you guys need a dog. I vote for Welsh Corgis. Love the show… I can personality wise relate to you Dr. and mmm mmm mmm definately can see what you see in that Hot man you got… Treat him nicer… He seems like a real keeper.

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George

Praise and gratitude for "Three Men and a Baby Goat." The best episode so far.

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vicki lowrey

love your story summer night or best cool and the smell of flowers in the air love to set and shell pea love store been on chemo watch alot tv do you know if mint is good maybe in a tea love the goat

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Mark

opps some miss spelled words i hope you can make out what i was trying to say.

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Mark

Well I'm glad to hear that you are working on one. I brew my own. But I'm just learning still. but use at lest 4 to 6 varieties of apple ranging from a very sweet apple to a very tart. If you want to bust the alcohol percentage. you can prime your cider with brown sugar or honey. That will give you a better start for the yeast to convert to alcohol. I have tried several varieties that use wild yeast. they can be very refreshing but have an acquired taste to them. I have found that if you was you apples in a diluted mix or water and bleach it will kill the wild yeast. Then you can add your specific yeast to it. I have used white labs English cider yeast to a good result with a finished percentage of 6% Good luck. Be safe.

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Sally Wright

Yikes you were there! 🙂 Why not introduce the States to the delights of an Elderflower Cordial – beautiful for light desserts, wine spritzers, a simple dilution with spring water or even into a jam?

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Sally Wright

You must try and introduce some Elderflower to your farm. This makes the most fragrant of a cordial to add to either slightly sparkling spring water or you can make them into wine. This is so popular in the UK (where I'm originally from) and is the definition of a Summers Eve in the UK as a child. You would certainly savour this on your porch for years to come! Well just a thought….

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Mark

I enjoyed the show on the green channel. Good luck on your farm. some day i hope to retire on a small farm and just putter around. I wish for time to slow enough to just enjoy the start of summer. I try and take some time every day to work in my vegetable garden. nothing like working in the soil to calm your mind. have to see if i can make your cocktail for my wife. just an idea if you have apple trees on your farm try making a hard cider. They go great with all kinds of foods. keep up the good works. Be safe.

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Skootr

Dr. Brent where did you come from and are there more of you?

LOVE your show!

Enjoy your blogs immensely!

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Phyllis

Bill, the best smelling soap I have is one I found from France at my local co-op. It is a lovely oval bar and is Lemon Verbena! I put it beside my bed for the fragrance. I have another bar for bathing!

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Phyllis

Reynolds Price has written the preface to a great book called Out On The Porch. I keep buying this book and giving it away, about 7 now and counting. The next one I will keep for me. I will write in it to remind myself! If you write to Reynolds, he will write back. How good is that!

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Bill

The front porch, the view of the garden, the sounds of birds, the dog laying next to me and a cup of coffee in hand…life is good. the feeling of completeness and that life could not be better. Maybe instead of Lilacs how about lemon verbana? Fresh, clean and crisp…

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Pru

This sounds like the perfect cocktail. Summer started to come, and then has quickly faded. My summer clothes currently remain in the loft – I feel it is tempting fate to bring them out to early. The best part of summer for me though, is summer ending and autumn beginning. Will try making your cocktail this weekend.

Pru

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Phyllis from Chattan

PS: My country neighnbor in 1970, Mrs. Rawlins, who made a pound cake every weekend, told me not to prune lilacs very much, or it could take a few years fdor them to bloom again. I wish I could type. oh Lord

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Dr. Brent

Yes. Lilacs are best left undisturbed. We transplanted a few last year and they came nowhere near to matching their prior glory. I'll keep my fingers crossed for next year

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Phyllis from Chattan

Those Adirondack chairs look like they would be really uncomfortable, but they usually feel good. My plantation rocking chair helps my back to feel good. I rock all the way to San Francisco! About three weeks after my mom died, I saw her in the back yard in a white new Adirondack chair, dressed in a muu muu!She looked abnout 30 or 40 years old. She waved to me, then after about four minutes she faded. That was when I knew that we don't die..

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Will

The day elementary school ended for summer recess, my family would pack up and spend three months at my grandmother's house with the huge wraparound verandah – and giant wooden porch swing. Ringing the verandah were beds full of overwhelmingly fragrant gardenia bushes.. I would wait until the Texas sun went down and then curl up in the swing with a static-riddled AM transistor radio and listen to "Ellery Queen Mystery Radio Theatre". Fireflies provided evening light.

Fast foward 40 years and things are not that different. I'll go for a late night swim and then retire to my treetop terrace, smelling the potted gardenias – and listening to Sirius satellite radio. It's the closest I can get now to summers at Grandmother's.

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Dr. Brent

Hi, Kenn

They don't add much taste, but the fragrance is definitely noticeable. It makes you wish you were a hummingbird!

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