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What to drink in a heatwave
With temperatures breaking records all over Europe this summer, the official advice is not to drink alcohol and that may be wise in the heat of the day but evening drinks are not called a sundowner for nothing.
You can however adjust what you drink to reduce the alcohol and make your wine more refreshing Here’s how to do it.
Choose wines and beers that are naturally lower in alcohol
Mosel riesling - generally about 8-9% - is the obvious choice but may be a bit sweet for some. Portugal’s Vinho Verde, often at 10-11% might be more palatable if you’re used to a drier white and there are plenty of lighter reds around 12-12.5% if you look out for them, Beaujolais being a good example. Natural wines also tend to be lower in alcohol than conventionally made ones.
Forget the oak
If your normal tipple is a full-bodied chardonnay or shiraz you might want to wait until the weather cools down a bit to enjoy them.
Dilute your drink
Almost anything you drink can be diluted, gin and tonic being the obvious example (though maybe make it a single rather than a double in this weather). Serve white wine as a spritzer by adding chilled soda or sparkling water to it and beer as a shandy. Sherry and white port are delicious with tonic too. Traditional long drinks such as Cinzano (or other ‘bianco’ style vermouths) and soda are also great in the summer.
Not just your white wines and rosés but reds too. And if you’ve forgotten to put it in the fridge pop a couple of ice cubes into your glass, stir and take them straight out again. Or leave them in if you don’t mind a bit of dilution.
Yes, freeze your wine! Frosé (frozen rosé) was a thing a few years back and not a bad thing to bring back in this sweltering heat.
Finally even if you are drinking stay hydrated - with water rather than with fizzy drinks like Coke - you should be drinking at least 2 litres a day. If you find it unpalatable add a slice of lemon or a couple of slices of cucumber to your glass. Cold brew tea is also a refreshing alternative - do try it if you haven't.
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