29 April 2018

Introducing the Alpine Gimonade

My hands are burning from the cold. I'm squeezing fistfulls of snow into small ice balls to put in our cups, and I think I've hit the threshold of effective hand-warmth-to-ice-creation-ability ratio. After 11 hours on my feet with a 46lb pack, I have high expectations for this drink. 

Inspired by a trip to BevMo, Theresa decided to do something special for this pilgrimage to Glacier Peak. We'd tried to reach the summit and failed on two previous attempts, missing the navigation boat entirely on the first trip, then coming within 800ft of the summit before a lenticular cloud skunked us the second time. We're coming a little late in the season - very late if I'm being honest - but with three days and good weather reported, we were feeling confident that we'll finally reach the summit. But first: a boozy interlude.

I love gin. Theresa loves whisky, but she also loves me despite my dislike of whisky, so gin it is. After a long day in the sun, a gin and tonic with lime tastes pretty darn good, but there's no way in hell we were going to pack a lime and bottle of tonic in our overstuffed bags. Lemonaid seemed like an acceptable substitute, and since it comes in powder form it was an obvious choice. Mix the lemonade, add balls of snow and some gin, and voila! The Alpine Gimonade is made!


  • This lightweight flask from BevMo holds 7.5oz of delicious ginny gin, and weighs almost nothing. Plus, it costs $5.99 and has the cool name of Shark Skinzz. Proof you don't need technical gear for technical fun. 
  • You'll need to fill that flask. I suggest Hendricks if you really want to be authentic, but any old gin will work.
  • A few packets of lemonade, in powder form. We brought a lot, which was still delicious even when the gin was gone. 
  • Cups, because you know.
  • Warm hands with which to make "ice cubes".
  • Water.
  • A spoon, or other stirring utensil.
Preparing a Gimonade could take a little as 30-seconds or as long as 5 minutes, depending on your available supply of water and clean snow, the accessibility of your other supplies, and your willingness to suffer in the name of ice cubes. The method described below assumes you have two people and care about the overall aesthetics of your drink, aka you're willing to wait longer for a nicer looking/tasting beverage:
  1. Take off the godforsaken backpacks and root around until you have located all of the supplies.
  2. Assuming you have enough water on hand to create lemonade, have person #1 measure perfect mix of lemonade in each cup, leaving ample room for gin and ice.
  3. Person #2 must use their hot hands to grab chunks of snow, carefully squeezing each one down into a small, compact chunk of icy, snowy goodness. The tighter you compact your snow, the more of a drink and less of a slushy you will enjoy.
  4. Add gin to lemonade, stir.
  5. Add ice.
  6. Enjoy

I take a sip. The cold, sour, ginny goodness slides down my throat and into my belly, warming it immediately. I take another drink, a hearty one this time. This drink gives me the best type of chills up and down my whole body. 

We hiked for 11 hours, covering 13.1 miles and 4800 vertical feet while carrying skis for 95% of the day. With no real food in my belly and a deficit of water in my system, my barometer may be a little off, but this is the best damn drink I have ever had. The sour lemon and sweet juniper make a perfect pairing, accented by the taste of nature from the alpine snow. I take another swig. Now I am drunk. Perfection.

Drunken dancing with my Alpine Gimonade.

I'm not drunk. You're drunk!

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