In the San Francisco Bay Area, we have what is often called a "Mediterranean climate"--by which is meant a temperate zone median, without much wide fluctuation in temperature extremes. Just a few miles inland, temperatures soar into the 90's (and even the occasional 100's). Just a few miles north, the annual rainfall jumps up, from an annual mean rate of about 28-30 inches per year here, to 60 and more in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. Typically, on most nights, we get a damp marine fog that is sucked in to the Bay by the warmer air in the Central Valley. Typically, we don't get below freezing for more than a couple of days a year, sometimes none at all. Our summers aren't that hot. Another regular aspect is our "Indian Summer"--which comes each year in October, or even November--days when the temperature may climb all the way up to 80 degrees, at a time when most of the rest of the nation is getting snow, freezing temperatures, or thunderstorms. Most of our weather comes to us from the Northern Pacific Ocean, but the brunt of the systems is almost always born north of here. Santa Rosa can be drowning, while San Jose is having a typical annual rain total of 22 inches. That's the dividing line--we're right in the middle.
Which is one reason why so many people--refugees from the freezing North, or the stifling South-- migrate to "Sunny California" where you can retire to 9-10 months of vacationing a year. When I was growing up in the 1950's, people who were "native" to the state were almost in the minority, because so many people had come here from someplace else.
Here are two new drinks appropriate for our Bay Area Indian Summer weather--balmy days to celebrate the good life, a brief respite before the dependable return of Winter. Global warming has meant that our usual weather patterns are becoming rather unusual. But, whatever the pretext, life goes on. Living on a hill, as we do, means we will never become inundated by a rising sea, even if we lived another 100 years. In another 1000 years, perhaps people will routinely live to be 130 years. Odd thought. Cheers!
Indian Summer I
4 Parts (Cabo Wabo) Anejo tequila*
2 parts Key Lime Liqueur**
1 part Triple Sec
1/2 Part fresh lime
Shaken and served up
*Take your pick with the tequila, there are a lot of choices to be had.
**I suspect that this concoction could be easily imitated simply by putting some cream and sugar into simple lime juice. Mixers and aperitifs are usually proprietary recipes, but this one seems pretty straightforward (though it might even have a little gin in it).
Indian Summer II
3 parts dry vermouth
2 parts cocchi
1 fresh lemon juice
1/2 part triple sec
Shaken and served up