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“Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.”

There comes a time every year — when spring is really getting down to the gritty business of turning winter into summer — when I start feeling a little out of sorts. It’s a sort of biological discomfort: The days get uncomfortably warm while the air smells constantly like rain; the safe and comfortable darkness and cool of twilight drapes more slowly and less convincingly than a mere month ago; and the green and the birds and the sun and the smells all reverberate a little garishly around my struggling consciousness, like stumbling sleepily downstairs to the kitchen only to find that the whole extended family is here for the holidays.

So maybe I need a garden or a dog or something.

Anyway, this time of year I crave simplicity, ease, and focus. For this I turn to vermouth: ice, Cocchi Rosso, lemon twist. Any decent vermouth will work, though I am partial to red for this ritual in this season. Like a cup of coffee in the morning it is methodically prepared, has a pleasing depth of on the palate, and helps remind me to enjoy the rich and earthy flavors of springtime before this short time has passed me by. To everything there is a season — I’ll be drinking bad beer and playing sand volleyball soon enough — no need to rush into it. Sit you instead silently beneath the tall trees, while the glass sweats and the ice clinks softly, smell the bright pop of the lemon, let the flavors wash across your tongue, and breathe, just breathe, as the day melts peacefully away.

Drink well.

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