Whilst I invariably am able to find something to offer friends to eat when they drop by, my flat is a less attractive proposition for the thirsty. Working in the wine trade means that I am always able to pour them a glass of wine but I find (inexplicably!) that mid-morning or mid-afternoon wine does not always seem to be people's beverage of choice. The same applies for the drivers, the pregnant or any others who fall into the non-alcoholic beverage category.
When not drinking wine, I drink water. I very rarely drink anything else. I hate squash (it tastes so artificial) and, whilst I do love freshly squeezed juices, I find that many other drinks come in sizes too big for the single person. I can't get through it all quickly enough and I hate waste.
Whilst I am happy drinking glass after glass of water at home, it has recently come to my attention that perhaps guests might prefer something a little more... interesting! My key issue with most soft drinks is that they are terribly sweet or strongly flavoured - I find the sweetness prevents them being refreshing and the strong flavours can interfere with whatever food you may be eating.
The one drink that I do love, however, is a proper homemade lemonade on a hot day. The still, cloudy stuff with its pleasing balance between the tartness of the lemons and the sweetness of the sugar. So refreshing on a sweltering summer's afternoon!
Last weekend when it was particularly hot and sunny, I decided to make a jug for a friend who was passing by for lunch in the garden. The recipe is my mother's and is more of a lemony water than a strongly flavoured lemonade. At first I was disappointed (I'd had my suspicions when I noticed the recipe contained just one lemon) but as the afternoon wore on, it really grew on me. It was subtle but totally reviving in the heat of the sun.
If you want a stronger, more lemony drink, then simply add more lemons. For each lemon, up the amount of sugar by 2 tablespoons. For an interesting twist, you could also grate some ginger into the jug and leave to infuse for a few hours prior to straining.
Makes enough for four people
1 large unwaxed lemon (N.B. it is important to use an unwaxed lemon)
2 tbsp caster sugar
6 ice cubes
1 litre water
Slices of lemon
1. Cut the ends off the lemon. Cut in half and pop into a liquidiser. Whizz for a few seconds to break up a little.
2. Add sugar, ice cubes and water to the liquidiser and put the top on tightly (!). Whizz on full power until fully blended.
3. Strain into a jug and add more ice cubes and slices of lemon.