Hello sunshine, you thing of beauty. I bloody love the sun, for those sceptics out there who say it’s too hot, you’re crazy, this is bliss. Plus, it’s been such a great excuse to eat and drink outdoors. Is it just me or have you spent a lot more money this month sat in beer gardens or eating out at your local pizzeria 4 nights out of 7 just because they’ve got tables and chairs outside? Who needs a holiday eh?
Sun and boozing go hand in hand, the only slight problem is that the sun seems to be so distracting that you forget how many glasses of wine you’ve actually had, it also means that you tend to neck your drinks a lot faster by way of refreshment. I’ve had some not very nice hangovers from getting a bit too over-excited and over-boozing on school nights. What I need is something that satisfies that sun/alcohol urge but won’t leave me feeling to woozy the next morning.
Vinho Verde from Portugal is the perfect wine for this sun, not only is it fresh, citrusy and has a little fizz to it but it’s lower in alcohol than a lot of other white wines, plus it’s very good value too. You’ll find it in all supermarkets and off licenses.
It may seem like an obvious one but SPRITZ – I’m a huge fan of adding fizzy water to white wine, even as a wine snob I totally support it, you don’t need expensive wine either. Something zesty like a Sauvignon Blanc works well. But please please promise me you won’t add lemonade, it’s sacrilege.
Make yourself an Aperol Spritz, the delicious Italian cocktail that everyones drinking this summer. Use Prosecco, a dash of Aperol, (or Bitterol which I hilariously stumbled across in Lidl) a top up with soda water and a wedge of orange all over plenty of ice. For a recipe click here.
One word, Vermouth. When I was about 16 my dad used to take me to the pub and buy me a dry martini and lemonade, I thought I was the epitome of cool. What I didn’t realise at the time was how sneaky my dad was being, Vermouth is a fortified wine that works really well as a mixer, making a much lower-alcohol drink compared with a standard spirit and mixer or the Bacardi Breezer that I thought I wanted. Get yourself a bottle of Martini Extra Dry and mix it with either lemonade or apple juice and a wedge of lime.
Since my thighs are now burning up from my laptop I better be off, I almost forgot to mention, there’s absolutely nothing shameful about ordering a pint of shandy, it’s the drink of the gods, come to think of it, there’s some lemonade in my fridge…