Monday, July 25, 2005

Brigham's Raspberry Lime Rickeys

Raspberry Lime RickeyIt's been many years since I lived in Wellesley. It was a good place to live and to be, even though our life there ended so sadly. Behind the house there was a pond where I learned to ice skate in my late twenties -- not proficiently, just adequately enough to feel the soar when the glide of metal cut a thin channel through the bumpy ice on early February mornings. Later, walking home with skates in hand, it still felt like soaring.

Our house was right in the middle of town. Open the front door, turn right and it would bring you to the library. Turn left and you were a few blocks from the theatre. We walked to church; the kids walked to school. The grocey store was nearby and a ten minute ride took you to the train station for Boston. The children could bike over to Nana's after school. Wellesley was the last place my oldest children had a real home. Little did we know it was the last time we were to be a family.

There are several things I miss about New England --besides my former in-laws, I mean. One of them is Brigham's ice cream shops. I looked it up: the one in Wellesley still exists, right there on Washington Street. The children and I would walk down to the shop on a hot summer day, they for ice cream and I to ask for a lime rickey. It was the drink of the gods when sweat ran down the backs of your legs and your hair stuck to your head in wisps.

Later we would stroll back down Washington Street eating our drippy sweets and savoring the shade provided by a long column of densely-leaved maples. In October they turned magically and predictably brilliant. Walking under them then was like moving in sunlight, even when it was raining.

For the uninitiated and those without a Brigham's nearby, here is the recipe for a raspberry lime rickey:

1 lime, room temperature and rolled about to make it release the juices when cut.
raspberry syrup
seltzer water

Obviously, squeeze the lime, use syrup and selter to taste. If you haven't any raspberry syrup, throw some frozen raspberries into the blender with ice and the lime juice. Sweeten to taste. If you're diabetic, use raspberries and some artificial sweetner.

Perhaps it's the citrus, perhaps the seltzer, perhaps some trace elements in the raspberries. Whatever the secret, this is the most thirst-quenching drink to come out of New England.

No, not that kind of thirst, m'boy. That's the cursed Irish thirst and has to do with the hole in your soul. I only ever meant the thirst of mid-day July.


At 11:02 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

This makes me want to have a Mint Julep! I have plenty of mint, if the heat wave hasn't finished it off.

At 9:11 AM, Blogger Dymphna said...

Only problem is, juleps require bourbon, which brings you back to the Irish drink...

...meanwhile, my mint has withered again. The old saying goes "when mint grows close to the house, the woman rules the home." Must be why I can't get any to grow dependably. At least not spearmint. Applemint, catmint, etc., do thrive. But not spearmint.

I need to start bossing a few people around.

At 12:26 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I have just returned home to Boston to visit with my family. So much of the past is gone now, the corner variety stores named Charlies, Jacks, Normans, the schools have grown to 4 times their original size, all the neighbors have passed away, kids no longer play at the parks. I went back seeking a past that is gone. I felt nostalgic and sad as I walked along looking at all the architecture I took for granted as a child.
But I did experience the joy of a lime rickey at Brighams and as I was sitting in a booth eating a grilled cheese and french fries at a Friendlys I felt these were the last two places that held my childhood and sanctuary for me.
How grateful I was to hold that Lime Rickey and remember the old days.

At 12:14 AM, Blogger Lisagreen1963 said...

Awww the memories of Brigham's RLR abd Friendly's


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