I, like 99.8% of people that live in LA, am a transplant from some place much less exciting and glamorous. I haven’t fully left behind my midwestern sensibilities (I’m looking at you, Tuna Noodle Casserole), but I am doing my best to assimilate to local customs. This includes, but is not limited to: attempting to make my pets famous on Instagram, going to brunch, discussing my commute to work in detail, and using phrases like “I can’t even”, and “I’m dying”. I was blasé when a pantsless transient growled at me like a dog one morning on my way into work. I’ve started eating kale. Je suis Angeleno.
One of the other LA activities I engage in regularly is yoga, which if I'm not mistaken actually originated in Santa Monica as part of the grand traditions of an ancient tribe of underworked white people. There are more yoga studios in a 5 mile radius of my apartment than there are Starbucks and McDonalds combined.
Yoga class usually involves a very taut person with an enlightened hairstyle calmly saying inexplicable things like, “Pull your breath into your back spine and press it into your front spine” and “turn your outer thighs inward and move them up and into your upper arms”.
I spend a solid 75% of class looking around to see what everyone else is doing, and occasionally I’ll make eye contact with someone else who is also calculating how many months they have left on the contract they just signed.
If you’re doing the front to back spine pressing thing wrong, the teacher won’t hesitate to come up behind you and adjust you while you’re in arguably the most awkward and vulnerable position you’ll ever voluntarily take, which is called Downward Dog. The enlightened yogi has very little comprehension of personal space.
On the other hand, at the end of class you get to take a little nap, which is really enjoyable. They also serve you tea, and the music is nice. And I think my classes are already paying off because the other day a gentleman with a tattoo on his face told me I was “looking pretty fly” as I was walking into the Venice Beach Whole Foods. And since I was feeling good about myself I figured I’d make a drink to celebrate, because I’m finally comfortable going out in public wearing yoga pants.
This drink is easy and very tropical and summery. I always keep a bag of cherries in my freezer because they're excellent for cocktails and smoothies, but you should use fresh if you have them. If you're not already growing a pot of mint, then go start one right now because I'm going to be putting it almost all of my recipes.
Mint Cherry Rum Punch
3-4 frozen dark sweet cherries
5-6 mint leaves
2oz silver rum
3oz pineapple juice
Muddle cherries and mint with rum in a cocktail shaker. Add pineapple juice and ice and shake well. Strain through a fine mesh strainer over ice and top with soda water to taste (I use Lemon La Croix). Namaste.