Monday, 9 June 2014

Quenching your thirst in stifling heat, drinks for il caldo torrido

The weather forecasters promised us a caldo torrido, this week and they were right. Caldo torrido means literally torrid heat. It sounds rather sexy to English ears because we usually keep the word torrid to describe passionate relationships. So here we all are hot and steamy whether we are passionate or not. There is a saying in English that animals sweat, men perspire and ladies feel the heat. The main thing is to replace all the minerals and stop yourself dehydrating. Every time I turn the tap on I feel thankful for the clean drinking water that comes out of it.  In Italy integratore, diet supplements of magnesium and potassium are advertised to replenish our supplies of these minerals that we lose in this extreme heat. It is not advisable to drink too many fruit juices because of their high sugar content. So I have two favourite homemade drinks that it is nice to find in the fridge.

Lemon Nectar

Serves four

3 lemons, untreated
2 tbsp. castor sugar
2 tbsp. honey
500 ml boiling water
ice cubes

Thinly pare the rind from the lemons and put the thin strips of rind in a large mixing bowl with the sugar and honey. Keep the lemons to one side. Bring the water to the boil in a saucepan and then pour it into the mixing bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar and honey. Set aside for several hours until cold.
Strain the liquid into a large jug or glass bottle. Squeeze the juice from the lemons and add it to the jug. Chill until ready to serve, then pour into tall glasses with ice cubes.

Lemon and ginger refresher

I stick of ginger, peeled and crushed
3 lemons, squeezed
3 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. honey
600g water

Follow the same recipe as the lemon nectar but add the ginger when the sugar and honey mixture is cool and  leave for another half an hour before straining . the ginger is very thirst quenching but try to avoid it if you suffer from cystitis.

Try to sip water gently throughout the day rather than gulping down loads of ice cold water in desperation.

IL caldo torrido conjures up images of crisp white linen sheets in darkened bedrooms with half drawn shutter while outside the streets are deserted waiting for the cool of the evening when the locals come out to chat and drink their local wine. It certainly means the summer has officially started, so roll on summer nights. There's a lovely moon up there and the crickets are singing.

Fresh ginger, lemons and honey for a thirst quenching drink 

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