Summer Quencher recipe ... and a 66 day challenge
I read somewhere that it takes 66 days to break a habit. And whilst I wouldn't exactly call my alcohol consumption a habit, so much as something I enjoy on a weekly basis (Friday nights usually involve a glass or two or vino) I still like to have a break from it now and again. With that in mind I've decided the remainder of the summer and into the Autumn (October 9th to be exact) are to be a booze-free zone ... although I may continue it long-term. Truth be told, I get less and less enjoyment from the odd G&T or Pinot Noir than I care to admit, preferring to have a cup of tea or sparkling water (San Pellegrino is my current fav) and so I got to thinking, why bother with it at all? I'm probably just turning into a boring old fart but even parties fill me with dread these days - small gatherings with people I know and trust are fine but other than that count me out. I guess I'm not a terribly social person and find certain situations quite awkward - my Husband feels the same way (weirdos unite!), preferring to have intimate dinner parties over major hooplas and usually without copious amounts of alcohol. Living in the US opened our eyes to our cultural reliance on the hard stuff ... our American friends tend to drink much less - not a firm fact just something we observed during our time there. Social events are less geared towards getting blind drunk and more towards eating, chatting and playing games. It sounds corny to say it was 'good, clean fun' but it was. I've got a few parties planned for the near future ... I'll be hosting a summer BBQ soon and will probably provide Pimms and whatnot for my friends (who, are all moderate drinkers thank goodness) but I will be abstaining and instead reaching for mocktails such as this Summer Quencher - truthfully, it tastes so fab, I really won't feel like I'm missing out. It would also be terrific served in a champagne glass and topped off with soda water or san pellegrino ... oh, and a sprig of mint would be delightful too, I just didn't have one to hand. Should anyone wish to join me on my booze-free voyage feel free to let me know and we can do it together - please do send any of your favourite mocktail concoctions my way, I'm eager to keep things interesting. As a total aside, my new favourite toy also happens to be a blender ... not any old blender (and believe me, I've tried quite a few!) but the new Kinetex Control Blender by Heston Blumenthal. It is the absolute bomb and I'll be sure to do a proper review of it later but, for now, here's the recipe in question ...
what you'll need
1 large orange
1 pink lady apple
1 x 4'' piece of cucumber
1 cup coconut water
splash of grenadine
lemon & lime slices
1 x strawberry, quartered
sprig of mint, ice cubes and sparkling water (optional)
what you'll do
Segment the orange and add to blender. Peel, de-seed and chop the apple and cucumber, and add to the blender along with the coconut water, lemon and lime juice. Blend until smooth and then pass through a sieve to render a colourful, smooth, vibrant drink.
Fill a glass with the lemon, lime and cucumber slices, as well as the strawberries and pour over the summery quencher. Finally, add a splash of grenadine. You could pop in a few ice-cubes and a sprig or two of mint.
To turn it from a long drink into a refreshing spritzer, simply divide the mixture between two champagne flutes and top with sparkling water.