Greenbriar Villas (Village of Briar Meadow)


JUNE 2019

It is June and official sweat season is upon us. Now that the water in local pools has reached the temperature of a petri dish for communicable disease, chafing has become our most popular sport.  What have your thighs stuck to lately?

Thank you to Rick and Janell Dankert for hosting a super-successful Just-Us Party.  Among many other things, Rick’s punch was great. I think we took advantage of the last day of pleasant weather.  And, of course, thank you to our seasonal neighbors whose departure made this party possible.

Our next upcoming event is the Gabe and Joan DeRosa open house backyard party which features the theme of “Wine Down Wednesday”. That will take place on Wednesday(duh), June 12 from 5:00-7:00 pm.  Bring a chair, some wine (or whatever you want to drink) and a dish to share. An Italian dish is suggested, but not required.  Sorry boys, but Sophia Loren is spoken for.

The monthly Ladies Luncheon will be held at the Waterfront Inn Restaurant in Sumter landing on Saturday, June 29 at 1:00.  Contact Ardie Langley (352-205-5080) if you wish to attend.

July will bring to Greenbriar the Best-Ever 4th of July Party. This event will be held indoors (mostly) on July 3, starting at 5:00 at the Chatham Rec Center. In addition to the usual picnic fare this event will host a geriatric version of the Not-So-Special Olympics.  The event will begin with a meal.  Your social club will provide hot dogs, buns and condiments.  Patrons are asked to bring salads, appetizers or desserts. Then we will venture outside to compete in The Games.  There will be contests loosely based on bocce, shuffleboard, cornhole and chipping and putting.  A winner will be determined in both the Men’s Division and Women’s Division.  We will cool off with ice cream and our 50/50 drawing afterwards. The cost will be $5 per person.  We will need an RSVP and $ placed in a box on the porch of the Seimears’ (8383 Clifton) home starting June 15th.

Coming soon will be a Greenbriar Social Club Survey.  Please take the time to fill it out so we know what events you like and what changes you would like to see.  The survey can really help determine what direction you would like to see your club take now and in the future.  After all, it is your club!

In August Chris and Nancy Krabbe will be hosting our annual Mimosa Monday breakfast and day-drinking get together.  Details soon.

I thought I’d tip you off on a few other events which are in the development stage for the rest of summer.  Planning is underway for a St. John’ River Cruise with a tentative date of Friday July 26.  The cruise would be followed by lunch at the Blackwater Inn in Astor.

Also, there is talk of building on our Mimosa Monday, breakfast (beat the heat) format.  Margaritas, Bloody Marys, and Manhattans, might want their day as well.  Or, to give our livers a rest, maybe just a coffee and doughnut day.  The morning get togethers give us a chance to socialize and beat the heat to some extent.

June Drink of the Month:

Martini:  It is hot.  You need a cold drink.  A good martini is the perfect antidote to this stupid weather we have been “enjoying.”

Two ingredients go into a martini. One is Gin.  I prefer Tanqueray, but there are many fine varieties from which to choose.  Just choose a good one.   The second is dry Vermouth.  My current favorite is Noilly Prat (will someone please tell me how to pronounce that).  Don’t skimp on the quality of vermouth.  It is so cheap even the good ones don’t cost much.

The classic ratio is two parts gin, to one part vermouth.  You can adjust to taste.  Dry means less vermouth.   Some bartenders put vermouth in the glass, swirl it around and dump it out, some choose to simply whisper the word vermouth over the chilled glass.  Speaking of the glass.  Chill the glass.  There are a lot of ways to chill a martini glass, chose one and do it.  If your bartender is not chilling your glass, you need a new bartender.  The mixture is poured into a shaker filled with ice and should be shaken vigorously for about 30 seconds.

Then the drink is strained into the afore-mentioned chilled glass.    Some think it should be stirred not shaken so as not to “bruise the gin.  I have no idea what that means and I don’t think stirring it will get the drink cold enough.  So, stick with James Bond get it “Shaken, not stirred.”  When you have your martini, handle the glass by the stem so your hand doesn’t warm the glass, which is why wine glasses have stems in the first place.

Garnish:  The classic garnish for your martini is an olive.  The best ones are stuffed with blue cheese.  Personally, I prefer a lemon twist or slice to give it a clean, crisp taste.   Some enjoy the addition of olive juice which creates what is known as the “dirty martini.”  I get that it sounds kind of risqué or even dangerous, but it isn’t my preference.                                                                                                         

Rant warning:  As I mentioned earlier, there are two ingredients in a martini. Gin and dry vermouth.  OK, you can make a martini with vodka if you must.  I’m only allowing that because I am a tolerant and inclusive individual.  All the other bull shit variations such as lemontinis, chocolate martinis, appletinis etc.  may be fine cocktails, and fun to drink but they ain’t martinis.  Enjoy them if you wish; just don’t call them martinis.

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