I haven't done any mountain hiking (or riding) in years, but there's nothing quite like being high up in the Sierras or Rocky Mountains, after a day of climbing, all the way up above the snow-line, and drinking from a spring thaw creek or rivulet, ice-cold, oxygenated, bracing. The air is thinner, there's a crispness and rawness that stimulates your senses, even the sounds seem purer. Somehow, for a while, you simply feel more alive, alert to sensation and detail.
If drinks must have a theme, then this one reminds me of the freshness of a spring freshet, the first rush of snow-melt down a mountainside, over rocks, through a mountain meadow, gathering momentum. A sense of renewal, of the propulsive rush of the return of life in spring.
By proportion, of course. This one should be shaken hard to produce as much ice fragment as possible to enhance the effect of its coldness.
3 parts gin
1 part Cointreau
1 part peach schnapps
1 part Becherovka*
1 1/2 part fresh lemon juice
Funny how taste can suggest qualities of physical experience or evoke memories of it. As I get older, I appreciate the qualities of the changing seasons more. When I was a boy, weather just seemed like a minor inconvenience. In the Bay Area, we live under a mild climate almost year-round, so the changes may be subtler than they are for those who live in hard winters, or long very hot dry summers.
*Becherovka is an "herbal bitters" liqueur made in Czechoslovakia, made from a proprietary herbal mixture. It has a cinnamon or spearmint flavor, and is used primarily as a mixer.