We were tired and thirsty. It was sunny but very humid in California. We just came out of my successful TV taping for the show “Halo Halo with Kat Iniba” which aired on Los Angeles’ LA18-KSCI and Hawaii KIKU networks. It was a great TV experience to share two recipes. But my hubby and I just wanted to get out of downtown LA and head back to our hotel. It had been a day of highs and lows. Before arriving at the LA18 TV station, earlier that day, we had a terrible experience with the inept Uber driver and car service we used. The Uber driver missed our exit –a horrible moment for anyone with a scheduled TV taping appointment like I did. And now, the Uber app on both our phones was not responding. We were stuck and couldn’t get a ride.
Thankfully, the Lyft app worked on our phone. My son suggested we use Lyft (another car service). We texted our son that we had been standing at the TV network’s lobby, unable to get through the Uber app.
Lyft, in contrast responded swiftly to our request for a car. Within 5 minutes, driver Alex drove up Bundy Drive in Hollywood and picked us up from Santa Monica for the drive headed east.
It was a two hour drive on the Los Angeles freeway. Traffic was heavy at 4 pm on a sultry afternoon. But like a ray of sunshine, our Lyft driver was lively and friendly. He made the long drive back to our hotel extremely pleasant. We exchanged stories. Our driver Alex even shared this refreshing recipe for an easy cocktail: a Watermelon Cucumber Cooler. I couldn’t wait to get back home to New Jersey to try it.
As the watermelon slices and the cucumber pieces swirled and crushed in the food processor, I thought about how people like Alex can make a difference in someone’s day. I poured the fragrant watermelon-cucumber mixture into the tall glass, added the spirits, the ice and stirred the cocktail.
It’s people like our Lyft driver who remind us to pour enthusiasm into each day. It had been a day of extremes for us that Monday in Los Angeles. My husband and I had a bad Uber experience with a terrible driver who was not familiar with the streets of LA and an Uber app that didn’t work. In contrast I had a wonderful TV moment on LA18. And what saved the rest of the afternoon, Lyft driver Alex cheerily shared stories and fun ideas for two hours. His zest for life was infectious. When you meet someone like this, with unbounded enthusiasm, it is a gift. If only for a few minutes, realize that the optimism you share with others, about the simplest of things can energize and inspire.
Watermelon-Cucumber Cooler Cocktail
- 3 cups watermelon cubes sliced, seeded,
- 1 whole English cucumber peeled, sliced, seeded; leave a slice or 2 for garnish (or regular cucumber)
- 12 ounces seltzer water
- 1 1/2 ounces (3 Tablesppons) vodka divided into 2 glasses
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice use 1 slice for garnish
- ice cubes to fill two 8 oz. cocktail glasses
- Prepare two cocktail glasses, 8 oz. each glass.
- In a food processor or blender, combine the watermelon, cucumber slices and seltzer water. Make sure to remove all seeds before processing or blending. Process for 1 to 2 minutes till it is a thick, liquid consistency.
- Using a small strainer, pour liquid into two cocktail glasses (8 oz. each). Add the vodka and lemon juice. Stir well. Add ice cubes.
- Garnish with a slice of lemon or cucumber. Serve chilled.
- Cook's comments: The vodka amount in this recipe was minimal and just enough for my personal preference. Feel free to add more vodka or to substitute gin if desired.
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