I can recall having a good time with a few gin and tonics at a reception after a beach wedding. That event may be the reason I associate gin with the summer. But it could also be just because it’s a clear liquor, and I tend to think of bourbon as my go-to winter beverage.

More recently, I had a few gin and tonics over the 4th of July weekend. I mixed the drinks, cut some lime wedges, and added a slice as a garnish. I had several mixed drinks that night, but I never became inebriated and enjoyed little more than what I’d refer to as a smooth flush.

I’d been looking forward to having that drink for a few weeks before the holiday. So much so that I may have snuck a gin and tonic into a Sunday a few weeks before, which wound up being okay because July 4th wasn’t much different than any day for us. It was rainy, and the fireworks were cancelled.

There are other times to drink gin, and I tend to think of Haruki Murakami when I think about them. It could be because I read about him enjoying the drink in one of his books (probably What I Think About When I Think About Running) or because he ran a jazz bar before he became a writer.

The jazz bar bit makes me think I should try a cocktail while listening to Miles Davis or John Coltrane. Even better, an evening in a Tokyo jazz club. Of course, that’s not as accessible as a summer night at home–rain or shine–with a cocktail in hand. But either one would be made better with a little gin.

photo: Hoach Le Dinh