If you love sports documentaries, check out this Netflix docuseries. It tells the story of the Juventus soccer team in 2017-18 and how the “old lady” of the Italian clubs is revived. I’ve been binge-watching Italian soccer these days. I’m hooked!
🍹Gin martini with crushed ice, mint, cucumber, and lime
I had this gin martini once in Arizona on a scorching-hot day and have been making it ever since. Best served in a chilled martini glass, it’s perfectly refreshing and has a great texture.
The documentary sequel to Michelle Obama’s 2018 memoir follows her on her book tour two years after leaving the White House. It’s super inspiring and focuses on inclusion and diversity (and hope, too) without ever adopting a lecturing tone. It has the same themes as a lot of other feminist work, but is brought to life in a different, whip-smart way.
Sipping on a Dark ‘n’ Stormy is one of my favorite ways to beat the summer heat. You feel the spicy heat from your first sip, and really start to feel the rum by the fourth. It’s perfect!
At first, this series seems like a run-of-the-mill period show set in 18th-century Russia, but with the very diverse cast and edgy, raunchy humor, it becomes something much more that is both jarring and refreshing. The character development, acting, and writing are top-notch and its style is unprecedented and unique.
The Aperol Spritz may seem simple, but it tastes complex and has a beautiful coral color. Aperol also has relatively low alcohol content, so you can keep drinking without getting too drunk too fast.
This HBO series follows different people around NYC who are connected through the same cannabis dealer. Expect lots of guest appearances and protagonists that get swapped out every episode or two. Each episode is only 30 minutes and not necessarily connected linearly, so you can watch at your own pace.
Revel Cider is based in Ontario and offers small-batch, super light wines that are perfect for park picnics. They release new options every couple of weeks and they always personalize orders with handwritten notes or crosswords.
I recently binge-watched Hollywood on Netflix. Aside from being well-written, designed and shot, this show sends a clear message that if Hollywood had changed the way it treats BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and women decades ago, it could have made a big difference to the world as a whole. Those of us in media have an opportunity, and a responsibility, to stand up for change. People listen to us and the work we create. Let's use that for good.
Bellinis are best enjoyed while sitting with your friends on a sunny day with your feet dangling in the water. I have lots of memories of sitting on a dock having a lively conversation or just relaxing with this yummy drink in hand.
Full disclosure: I’m a sucker for any movie with the word “godfather” in it, and this Netflix documentary doesn’t disappoint. It follows the story of Clarence Avant, a very influential mentor to many big names in politics, entertainment, business, and music. Preferring to operate behind the scenes, yet very outspoken, he avoids the public eye and focuses on what’s important: changing the game, moving forward, and helping people find success. The movie contains many inspirational anecdotes and great quotes. My favorite? “I don’t make speeches — I make deals.” Talk about the power of making things happen.
The Americano brings together different elements of Italy by combining the Campari of Milan and vermouth of Turin with a bit of soda and a twist of lemon. Drink these with sunglasses on while you people-watch.
We recently watched Da 5 Bloods on Netflix and it inspired us to rewatch all of Spike Lee’s films, which we’ll definitely get around to throughout the summer. Seeing Ray Allen in He Got Game will also probably make us want to dig out our old DVD copy of the 2008 Boston Celtics championship game.
A Mauresque is a very simple and popular cocktail from the south of France that’s sweet and refreshing. It’s the perfect mixture of Pastis, orgeat syrup, water, and ice in a tall glass.
I fell in love with this reality show from the first episode. Following pairs of amateur gardeners creating larger-than-life floral sculptures, it’s pure escapism and so over the top, so ridiculous, and simultaneously so kind and human. I dare anyone not to cry when they see the orangutan made of grass (all three meters of it), not to mention the father and son who go through this journey together.
Pimm’s is gin-based and the perfect shade of amber, with lemonade, fruit (strawberries and apple), cucumber, and a sprig of mint. Back in England, we would “Pimm’s our way through the one week of summer we got.” Day-drinking at its finest!
📺 Les misérables (2019)
This one’s for my non-French friends: watch the latest version of Les misérables. It’s by far the best movie made in France over the last few years.
Negronis make me nostalgic for holidays in Italy and long summer nights spent with close friends. Plus, they’re easy to make and pack a great punch!
This HBO series is directed by Michaela Coel, who also directed Chewing Gum. It’s the story of a young female writer recollecting a night that led to horrible events. The treatment is authentic, imaginative, and humorous, and the acting is pitch-perfect.
Pastis is my favorite drink to slowly enjoy along any waterfront. This cloudy mix also goes great with a game of pétanque in your own backyard.
📚Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
For anyone looking at summer 2020 as a time for healing and awakening, Braiding Sweetgrass is a message of caring and a show of gratitude for Earth. It beautifully captures how listening and standing witness to a more-than-human world can dissolve the boundaries between us.
🍹Seedlip Garden 108 and soda mocktail
A Seedlip Garden 108 and soda is the perfect balance between herbal and floral, and reminds me of being surrounded by lush landscapes and dense gardens in the summertime.
📚The World of Yesterday: Memories of a European by Stefan Zweig
Since everyone is thinking about the world of tomorrow, it's a great time to read Zweig’s memoir, The World of Yesterday. From his youth spent in peaceful 1900s Vienna to his escaping World War II to Brazil via the European pacifist art communities of the 1930s, it's a fascinating (and potentially familiar and contemporary) story.
A simple Ardberg whiskey, no ice, with a tall glass of very cold water on the side is a tasty (and strong) summer refresher. Follow it up with a sip of water — it helps reveal the whiskey’s taste.
📚 Wired to Create by Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire
For enlightening summer reading, I recommend Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind. It explores the mysteries of the creative mind from a psychological and artistic point of view.
I love a splash of quality mint cream liqueur from a local distillery (not one of those fluorescent green ones) poured over ice. It’s perfect for sipping at the end of the day in the great outdoors.
📚The Splendid and The Vile by Erik Larson
This book shows a new side of Winston Churchill from diaries written by those around him during the Blitz. It provides great insight into an incredible leader in a way that reads like a novel.
Martinis are really the only cocktail for me, made with vodka or gin straight from the freezer. It’s a real drink that’ll liven up any pool party.
📚 Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America by Chris Arnade
This summer I’ll be reading Dignity, which explores the findings of ex-Wall Street trader Arnade, who documents poverty and addiction in the Bronx and across America through interviews, photography, and personal connections, delving into inequality in the U.S.A.
🍹 Gin and tonic with rosemary and blueberries
A gin and tonic topped with rosemary and blueberries is the drink of choice in South Africa. Gin also apparently keeps the mosquitos away, so whenever we were on safari back home, we'd be sure to drink copious amounts of the stuff!
📚 My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris
Based on events from the author’s life, her story is one of re-adaptation and redemption through the arts. As a single LGBTQ+ mother with a disability, she recounts her journey in a visually stunning and fully immersive way; it looks and feels like the anatomy of a child’s imagination and their emotions. It also takes place in 1960s America, where racial, social, and gender inequality were blatantly visible. My favorite quote is about how it’s easier to be a monster than to be a woman. To become a monster is to emancipate oneself from discrimination, violence, and inequality. To become a monster is to be different and proud.
A Pimm’s Cup tastes like summer in the U.K. It's fresh and fizzy, and the fruit makes it seem like it’s appropriate to drink during the day... It's basically a snack, right?
📚 Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
While it’s pretty mainstream, I strongly recommend reading Where the Crawdads Sing this summer. Owens is a retired wildlife biologist and has perfectly captured the beauty and mood of nature, bringing it to life through words in a way that is completely immersive. This novel is being turned into a movie but trust me — nothing will beat the book.
I love the refreshing taste of gin and tonics, and they also bring back memories of enjoying time with my family sipping G&Ts in Copenhagen.
🎧 Code Switch — We Aren't Who We Think We Are
I still have a long way to go in understanding all the issues related to racism, but the podcast Code Switch – and this episode in particular – really resonated with me. A young director goes to New Orleans with her father to learn about their family history, and it doesn’t turn out as expected. On top of being an important story, it’s told in an incredibly sensible and touching way. It’s the kind of reporting that I’d like to be able to produce once day.
🍹 Negronis — Stanley Tucci-style
Negronis are always my go-to for the summertime. I saw this video of Stanley Tucci making this punchy cocktail a while back and I’ve been making them at home ever since.
🎧 Decoder Ring podcast
Halfway through this extraordinary year (with important work ahead for all of us), you’ll be forgiven for craving some storytelling distraction. For the overtly curious, Slate’s Decoder Ring podcast expertly unpacks random pop culture enigmas. Why are there thousands of rubber ducks at sea? Who was Murphy, and how did they get their own law? And why can’t we stop humming “Baby Shark”?
The occasion of sitting poolside with a good read might seem a little out of reach, but we can still dream Tiki dreams. The Jungle Bird is a lost classic that will take you back to Hawaii’s North Shore.
Hosted by David Chang, chef at the Momofuku restaurants and creator and host of Ugly Delicious on Netflix, this podcast touches on globalism, multiculturalism, food as a binding factor for humanity, Black Lives Matters, and so much more. His conversations with guests are always thought-provoking and entertaining, exploring everything from the creative process to guilty pleasures.
A grapefruit sparkle is the perfect thing to sip on a hot summer day. Mix grapefruit juice, Campari, cassis orange, and St. Germain together, and you’ve got yourself a colorful, thirst-quenching cocktail.