feast your eyes on this strawberry basil cooler

Monday, July 11, 2011

Did you ever notice that eyeglass shops are crazy for a pun? Lord. These are names of actual businesses in Los Angeles: 

The Eyes Have It
Positive Eye-ons
For Your Eyes Only!
Eye Eye Captain

Ok, that last one was made up by DP. But still! Aren't they ridiculous? These punny store names have given us endless pleasure since we met 13 years ago and we're always on the lookout for more. That's somewhat ironic for me since I have an irrational fear of All Things Eye Doctor.  

In High School I went for a routine eye exam and ended up fainting from an allergic reaction to those horrible yellow dilating eyedrops. The next year, the doctor said, "Let's try them again. I think that was a bad batch because we had several people faint."  Nice, right? I promptly fainted again. So now I truly have a physiological reaction when I think about eye exams. They give me the creeps.

DP, on the other hand, is a cavalier contact wearer. He'll pop them in and out the way most people check the time. I'm simultaneously awestruck and horrified. The other day while he was driving I watched him give his left contact a spit-shine at a red light. Then to stick it back in, he did the Clockwork Orange eyelid-pull-back move with two fingers and then gently tapped his index finger to his eyeball as the light turned green. He was actually still finishing said eyeball tap as he pulled into the intersection.  

At that alarming moment it occurred to me I know nothing about the life of contact-wearers: putting them in, taking them out, how long to keep them there, hard vs. soft, daily vs. weekly...zilch.  Ok, that's not completely true. I did don them for a short stint on The X-Files because my character acquired blindness from acid-containing reptile saliva (naturally). Even then, I (thank GOD) had an experienced and brave technician administering them on set. They were thick and hand-painted (to look like the eyes of someone who had been spit on by a reptile) so they felt like little disks made of sandpaper. It was punishment. Not to mention the harrowing partial eye exam and fitting I had to endure beforehand.  The reptile ones weren't finished yet so the Hollywood Contact Man had me try on a pair of bright yellow ones. I was doing okay until he had me get up and look in the mirror. I almost passed out on the spot. To be on the brink of swooning anyway and then see yourself as a yellow-eyed cat/vampire? Horrifying. So even though I've worn contacts, my experience makes me even less understanding of how someone does this daily.

I brought this up to DP and then asked him if there was any world he knew absolutely nothing about and couldn't relate to in the slightest. He said tampons.  

"I don't know how you put them in or take them out or when and how often and what all the different types are for. It's nuts. Also? I don't need to ever know that stuff. So don't tell me."

This drink was something I knew nothing about--it wasn't on my radar until I recently went with my friend Nic to The Boulders Resort and Golden Door Spa in Arizona for a super girly vacation meet-up. We spent a glorious weekend spa-ing and lounging and talking about girl-only topics not unlike the world of tampons. In the spa cafe they offered this drink as a special that weekend and even at $10 a pop, we couldn't get enough. It's sweet from the berries, a little spicy from the basil, refreshing and zingy from the citrus and truly like sipping summer through a straw. So I set out to recreate it.

Strawberry Basil Cooler

serves about 4

1 heaping cup strawberries, washed and hulled
1/2 cup basil, lightly packed
juice and zest of one lime
juice of one lemon
1-2 T agave syrup
2-3 cups sparkling water

Throw the strawberries, basil, zest, juices and agave into a blender and puree well. You can strain it at this point if the strawberry seeds bug you but I think it's fine as is. Place 1/3 cup puree into a glass and top with 2/3 cup sparking water and lots of ice. Adjust to taste--you may want a bit more puree and/or agave. Or less. Enjoy immediately and repeat throughout the summer.

Eye think you'll love it.

If Lena looks blurry you may need an eye exam.

Happy Monday:)


  1. Eye love love love this post! Especially the reminder to try the recipe at home. And that it's time to change my tamp-- no, I mean-- my contacts. Oasis Acuvue. Disposable. Two weeks.

  2. I had a strawberry basil spiked lemonade once and have been thinking about it ever since! This'll work.

    PS my security word is "dialate" and that's freaking me out


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