As much as I enjoy my coffee and my occasional Scotch, my family and friends know about my true go-to beverage of choice ... which is hot water with lemon.
Drinking hot water is something I grew up with in Korea. Lots of Koreans drink it, without anything added to it, except an occasional touch of honey. Adding lemon to my hot water became something I did in America ... I do like the way the juice of the lemon affects the water's taste but more than that, I like the way the lemon wedge beautifies the mug or the glass that the water comes in.
I also love drinking it because I'm always cold and it warms me up ... and it's just so clean, cleansing, uncomplicated, and available to all.
Even the staff at my local hangouts like Chapter One, and Lola Gaspar start bringing me my hot water with lemon without my even having to ask for it. I love it when that happens.
So one day, when I was having lunch with some artists and I ordered my usual hot water with lemon, my friend Sue told me that hot water with lemon had been the go-to beverage of choice for the late and legendary American photographer, Richard Avedon, and that Avedon even coined a name for this beverage and called it a Canary.
So I've been following Avedon's lead and now whenever I go to wherever I go and am asked what I'd like to drink, I say "I'd like a Canary please." My answer usually leads to a great convo with the server that includes a bit about Korea, a bit about America, a bit about Avedon, a bit about art ... and then the delivery of the most perfect beverage that is always chic and always free-of-charge.
So the next time you're in the mood for hot water with lemon, do what I do and what Avedon did ... and ask for a Canary.
(Or a canary with honey if you're feeling fancy.)