Virgin Ricard or Campari. How I (almost) stopped alcohol

[LOVE TIP 30′]  At least summer is here, are you hanging out thirsty? To deal with temperature I prepared a thirst-quenching hybrid between Orangina (agrums), Campari (bitterness), Ricard (aniseed). A blend of soft and mellow apricot, with some vivid and bitter mandarin zest, boosted freshness with verbena and a touch of aneth in blossom. Neither a dessert, nor a drink chè is the summer home refreshment…without alcohol since as many Asian people I lack the right enzyme to metabolize it properly. Although as my cousine kindly points out, everything is a matter of training…

Special thoughts for Pascale who endures torrid temperatures from Dubai to Riyad

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Because summer goes with:

– Ricard, aniseed aneth flower, check

– Delicious ripe apricots, check

– Mandarin marmelade (thanks Flo). Colour, bitterness and aroma will combine marvelously with apricots, check

– Reinforce freshness without using agrums? (re)discover verbena, check

– Sour? Pour some honey. Last I am pulling out the Vietnamese weapon : agar agar…

Cook the apricots, set aside.  Use some juice and add the marmelade, infuse a handful of verbena. Add 2 soup spoons of honey. Do not be spare with honey and verbena as jelly is going to attenuate all tastes. You may also want to use some full-bodied honey like a chestnut one

Should I tell you what I’m thinking of now? Crush this in iced sparkling water ; or throw it in almond milk along with other weird funny stuff (lotus seeds, yellow mung beans)..

Neither a dessert, nor a drink sweet soups are widespread all over East-Asia. They are light, refreshing and come in various versions, not always flavoured enough for me though. You may be familiar with the banana, corn or 3 colours ones, often served in restaurants (in France). But there are countless others, also appreciated for their nutritional benefits (good skin, good hair..). Sago, tofu, mango, seaweeds.. If you go to Hong-Kong/Taiwan/China.. venture yourself in dedicated stalls. Ideally you would go with local friends who can advise you.

Chè : if you’re not born with it I am afraid the category has to become an acquired taste really. At least this is a lovely test to evaluate your Asia-ptitude !:)

What about you, what’s your favorite refreshment in summer? happy with old good classics or eager to try new drinks?

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