Many people of my age remember being left in the car outside a pub while their dad went in to have a drink with his mates. It was a happy occasion, we enjoyed being left in the car watching the door of the pub. After a few minutes dad would come out bearing aloft bottles of lemonade and packets of crisps. Tucked inside the packet of crisps was a small, blue, paper sachet of salt. We would untwist the paper and pour the salt inside the bag and give it a good shake. The lemonade was so delicious I couldn't understand why my dad didn't want it too,
Many aperitifs are a bit like that lemonade, thirst quenching and fruity. Here's the catch though, they often contain alcohol.
You have to be careful. One hot English summers day an Italian friend of mine drank quickly two huge glasses of Pimms, not knowing that it was alcoholic, it just tasted delicious and she was thirsty. Of course after a few minutes she had to go and lie down.
It's a funny thing about alcohol. Cigarette packets are plastered with dire warnings that should put you off smoking forever. We are told only to drink in moderation, women less than men because of something different about the liver, and not to drink and drive. That's it. Nothing on the bottle about how it loosens your tongue, dissolves your inhibitions and makes you say things that you regret. So you might find yourself this summer drinking what seems like fruit juice and all of a sudden your crying about.. Brexit, the dog you lost when you were ten, the plight of total strangers, how you miss your mum and dad, etc.
I'm going to give you a recipe for an aperitif which is perfect for a summer evening but you have to be careful, tell everyone what is in it.
It is called GRAZIE, which means thank you in Italian.
for one person
2cl sugar water, dissolve 2 teaspoons of sugar in hot water and let cool
10cl grapefruit juice
a few basil leaves
2 ice cubes
Simply multiply the ingredients by how many people
Wash and dry the basil leaves and place in a cold jug. Put in the fridge.
Mix together the gin, sugar water and grapefruit juice and then pour into the jug.
Add the ice cubes and then if you prefer you can pass through a sieve before serving. The flavour of the basil and the grapefruit juice is delicious.
Warn your guests that there is gin.
|All ready to go|
|Believe me it's delicious|
|What can be more cheerful than an aperitif at sunset in the summer|