Something that gets me through the most hottest days of summer is visualizing the autumn to come, when temperatures will be delightfully brisk and I can go back to modeling my impressive collection of jackets. August is for shorts, sweating, and complaining; autumn is scarves, sweaters, and coziness.
To make my visualizations come to life, I like to throw some old crackly jazz records on the hi-fi, put a riveting fireplace video on the TV, fill my house with pumpkin-spice-scented Febreze, and eat like I’m getting ready to hibernate. Fall is defined by its signature flavors: you can fool yourself into thinking it’s the most wonderful time of the year by frying up a batch of apple cider doughnuts, tucking into a bowl of warm pumpkin soup, getting creative with a butternut squash, or drenching everything in maple syrup.
At the breakfast table maple syrup is a year-round thing, but after 10 a.m. its warm, woodsy flavor compels me to throw on a cardigan and snuggle up under a blanket. But it’s August, and the sun does not care if I’ve deluded myself into thinking it’s November. So instead of mugs of piping hot apple cider or a batch of homemade pumpkin spice lattes, I’ll make an ice cold glass of maple cream soda and dream of cooler days to come.
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp. heavy cream or half-and-half
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla
- 8 oz. seltzer, plain or flavored (I’m a big fan of cherry, blueberry, or any other fruit that tastes good on pancakes)
Mix the maple syrup, cream/half-and-half, and vanilla together in the bottom of a pint glass. Add half the seltzer and stir gently, giving the foam a little time to subside. Repeat until the glass is full, and enjoy with a decorative straw.