A couple of Fridays ago, I had a dinner date with my close friend, Sophie. We were supposed to meet at the tapas bar after work, but at the last minute, we decided to meet at my place first, for a couple of well-earned, end-of-week drinks. I scoured the fridge and pantry things to snack on, scraping together a plate of olives, walnuts, Gruyère and some rye Knäckebröd, that much-maligned Scandinavian cracker that a lot of people say tastes like cardboard, but that I have a real soft spot for. (Knäckebröd actually falls into a category I call my “old lady favourites”, along with stewed prunes, steel-cut oatmeal and Ovaltine. But I digress.)
We settled on the living room couch, cocktails in hand, with a mix of Louis Prima, Bruce Springsteen and Laura Mvula to keep us company. Luckily, my questionable DJ skills went unnoticed as we quickly got lost in chit chat – about everything and nothing and all the bits in between. We laughed like mad, catching up, reminiscing, and plotting the future. For those next couple of hours, neither of us had a care in the world. I was reminded how good it felt to be by eachother’s side, and how some friendships, somewhat miraculously, manage to stand the test of time.
When I was first getting to know Sophie, the first thing that struck me was how openly frank and uninhibited she could be, even with people she’d just met. This isn’t to say she was rude. Far from it. She just had an aptitude for stripping away the unnecessary layers that a lot of us tend to get twisted up in. It was refreshing. Even now, her candour is something that I marvel at; she’s bold and I love that about her. As we’ve grown into our 20s and 30s together, I’ve borne witness to her ability to take things in stride, put things into perspective and pick her battles – not an easy task whilst navigating the growing pains of early adulthood. I’ve also always admired the way she parents – with big doses of love and encouragement. I’m doubly impressed at how she manages to wrangle her kids when things get out of control, diffusing tantrums like a pro. Perhaps most importantly, she’s able to see past the superficial in things and people, knowing how to appreciate the little things. Like a really good nap, or a low-key summer dinner in the backyard…
…or a cocktail on the couch on a Friday night.
I’ve known Sophie for thirteen years. Aside from my family members, that’s longer than I’ve known any other person. I inherited her friendship through a former boyfriend, but she’s the kind of person you’d think had always been around, from the very beginning. She is one of the strongest, sincerest, beautiful people I know, and though we’re not related in the traditional sense, it is with pride that I call her my sister from another mister. She keeps me grounded and reminds me how to distill what’s important from all the dust that gets kicked up in the air. We can only be so lucky to have people like her in our lives.
This one’s for you, ma belle. Stay bold. Je t’aime. xx
Lemon Gin Fizz (serves 2)
4 ounces gin
2 ounces fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 ounces Lillet Blanc
1 egg white
2-3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters (or Angostura)
1) Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker without ice and dry shake for 10 to 15 seconds to emulsify the egg.
2) Add ice and shake again
3) Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.