It is hot out. Sticky, sweltering, humid, oppressive. If you work in a bakery kitchen, that’s nothing new at this time of year.

But it still takes a couple of days for me to get used to it. I need to remember to drink more often and take breaks on the other side of the threshold where the temperature is 10 to 15 degrees cooler. In the evening, I am a little more tired than usual. I slog slowly around the house, gulp big glasses of ice water, and slowly cool down.

This week, along with the heat, I caught a hefty cold, a sort of double whammy. Nose dripping, repeated sneezing, sore throat and cough, things I imagine happening in the winter during a cold spell. But as July 4 came and went, and delicious and noisy as it was, my energy headed south. A bad night of sleep and a long day at work added another layer of fatigue. I crashed on the couch, feeling like a pumpkinhead.

The next morning, after sleeping as soundly as I have in a few weeks, I awakened a different person. My morning coffee roused my energy. My coworkers giving it their all cheered my disposition and I felt like a ship righting itself after the storm. And then, I remembered.

Ryan and Jami Hawkins, owners of Common Spirits in Goshen. Flavor 574 photo/Marshall V. King
Ryan and Jami Hawkins, owners of Common Spirits in Goshen.
Flavor 574 photo/Marshall V. King

I told Jami I would stop in to see her new place the night before. With sickness in my brain, I totally forgot. But if Tuesday was gone, Wednesday was here. After work, Jim and I took a long walk at the park with Stella, the dog. In the heat, nothing moved except for the sweat rolling off my nose and the steady wagging tail and panting tongue of the dog. After a quick stop at home to feed the animals, we headed back out for our first visit to Common Spirits.

Up the steps and through the door, we found our seats at the bar with a warm welcome from Jami and her partner, Ryan. After perusing the menu, I couldn’t decide between the Garden Smash and the Whiskey Smash.

Ryan laughingly told me, “You’re in luck! We are having a special tonight where you can have a taste of each.” And so it went.

In a calming space where people of all ages and types mingled, we cooled off, relaxed, chilled and refreshed with delicious drinks made by Jami. We enjoyed the flavor combinations. We loved watching her do what she loves and put her heart into her art. No matter the weather, there will be a drink to match. And we know we will come back again! Common Spirits is another great addition to our downtown.

Here is a recipe for summertime cool.

NEW TWIST ON FRESH MOZZARELLA AND TOMATO SALAD

A mozzarella and tomato salad is a great meal to keep you cool and refreshed during the hot summer days. Flavor 574 photo/Rachel Shenk
A mozzarella and tomato salad is a great meal to keep you cool and refreshed during the hot summer days.
Flavor 574 photo/Rachel Shenk

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart of heirloom cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups fresh mozzarella balls (cieligine), halved
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 green onions, trimmed and sliced
  • 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
  • Fresh basil

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients except the basil in a salad bowl.
  2. Add snips of basil, as desired, when you serve it. (I like a good amount!)
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