Long summer days with warm, light summer evenings are a feature in England, though the good weather can be sporadic! One of the things the English have always done well is to use citrus fruits to make cooling drinks. Tea, originally brought to the English from warmer climes, is meant to have cooling properties. Before the English discovered the delights of having milk with their tea they would partake of tea with lemon. Below are a few suggestions for cooling summer drinks using citrus fruits which are refreshing and easy to make.
Cold tea with lemon has a wonderful flavour, and is great for hot summer days. Make a jug of tea, add two slices of lemon – which will help bring out the flavour - and leave to cool. Once the tea is cold leave to stand in the fridge for about two hours. Serve in tall glasses with plenty of ice.
Whilst it is easy to buy lemon squashes and fizzy drinks, there is something intensely satisfying about drinking a lemon drink you have made. Halve four fresh lemons and squeeze out the juice in to a heat proof jug. If you are using a glass jug put a damp tea-towel underneath – this will prevent the class smashing when you pour in hot water. Cut each half of rind and pulp in to four quarters and add these to the jug, together with enough hot water to cover the lemons. Add liquid honey for sweetness according to taste. Cover the jug with clingfilm and leave to stand. When the drink is cool strain (thus getting rid of the rind, pips and pulp). Add soda water to create lemonade, or water to taste for a non-sparkling lemon drink. Serve in glasses and decorate with a sprig of mint. Alternatively, you could top with a small scoop of ice-cream – if doing so you may want to offer a straw and a spoon to help consumption...
Named after the line from a nursery rhyme Oranges and lemons say the bells of St Clements, this drink provides a refreshing citrus boost. Use the same method as when making lemonade, substituting two oranges for two of the lemons. For decoration dip orange slices in sugar and leave on a tray to dry, then cut to the centre and place one over the side of each glass. Serve with crushed ice. You can also use the same method with lemons and limes.