In the Middle of a Heatwave, Even the Reds Need to Chill out a Bit
Moore, Victoria, New Statesman (1996)
What to drink when it is so hot that the air in and out of the house is at body temperature, and nowhere but the inside of the fridge has even the slightest cooling effect on your skin?
The day begins with chilled coffee. Foodies say this ought to be made only with espresso frozen into dark cubes then smashed into fresh milk. I have always had a sneaking preference for the instant version, because that is what is served in seashore bars on hot little Greek islands, and I always taste in it the cobalt blue of summer sky and the grating of a rare morning cigarette on a youthful, empty stomach.
It's easy enough to make: just shake a spoonful of coffee granules in a jam jar with cold water, milk, ice and sugar until it froths. I have been using my cocktail shaker--also enjoying a new lease of life as a vinaigrette-maker--for this.
During the morning, heat demands that you drink pint after pint of water that's been a couple of hours out of the fridge. Then, in the afternoon, a treat: lemonade. All the big shops sell "fresh lemonade" now but none has got it right, and so I make my own in just the same way my mother did.
It takes virtually no time at all. Just scrub then slice a few lemons. Place them in a jug and pour over just enough boiling water to cover. Leave to steep for a good half-day, or overnight. Taste and stir in sugar until you achieve the desired sweetness. …