When the summer gets too hot, the sea gets too lively, or the previous evening was too indulgent, club soda fills the prescription just right. It gives cigar-mouth a sorbet effect and livens up any liquor. I take it with bitters and ice almost daily. The problem is hauling the bottles all over. I hate buying it in an sort of meaningful quantity, and the liquor stores refuse to deliver it in any manageable count.
Of the dumb things we do as a culture, the enthusiastic purchasing of water quickly comes to mind. I bought a seltzer bottle and a dozen boxes of cartridges. "Charged water" (as my Nanna calls it) is far more handy than throwing away (or recycling) bottles or cans constantly, because you fill it from the tap (Boston and NYC have some of the cleanest municipal drinking water in the world). Once filled and bubble-ized, the seltzer works just fine and holds its charge surprisingly well. The bottle can sit in the refrigerator until its ready to pep up your whisky or whiskey, your rum, brandy, gin, etc. While they were once indispensable as Vaudeville sight gags, they are pretty rare now. Several of you will likely chide me for not buying an antique seltzer bottle, but the gaskets never work so I went for modern.
You save about a dime per bottle, and the recyclable (bin) cartridges get mailed to your house... no more schlepping Schweppes.
I also found this old number at an antique sale. One spot for bourbon and another for Scotch. I paid about $12 for it. It's kind of crappy, but charming.
Between the seltzer bottle and the whisky holder, autumn picnics are looking more inviting.