Picture a hot day in June. There is a haze in the air where the morning’s mist has burnt away. The sky is so blue it’s almost violet. Only the wispiest of clouds can be seen in the sky, morphing and changing from one shape to another; nature’s kaleidoscope.
The leaves are thick in the trees, in varying shades of green; wide and flat, casting a cool shade around them, a refuge from the sun’s hot beams. If you close your eyes and take a deep breath you can smell coconutty sun lotion wafting through the air, blended with the dewy scent of freshly cut grass, and in the distance the hum of a lawnmower can be heard.
A soft breeze is blowing, just enough to cool your skin, carrying the heady scent of lavender and roses. Flowers have blossomed in all the flowerbeds, a rainbow of petals in every colour. Bees flit and buzz around them, hovering then landing lightly to collect their nectar here and there.
It’s Summer time.
Queen’s and the Wimbledon tennis tournament are on; will Andy Murray do us proud again this year? An army of fans have camped out in SW19 to find out. Cricket is being played and the football season is over; the only ball we’ll be playing now is barefoot in the park.
We are having picnics, eating strawberries and cream, children are making homemade ice-lollies out of orange squash and ribena, and the barbeque has been scrubbed and prepared for use. Sausages, buns, and burgers have been bought and there is nothing more enjoyable than a cold, refreshing drink to accompany it all.
For some it’s a pint of beer served in an ice cold glass with a head full of froth; for others it’s a glass of rose wine, pale pink and perfectly chilled, but for me this time of year is all about a well mixed jug of Pimms with lemonade.
I’m sure there are many ways to prepare the perfect Pimms cocktail, but mine is as follows:
Pour one third Pimms and two thirds lemonade into a large jug, add a generous handful of fresh mint leaves, some strawberries, slices of roughly cut apple, a few segments of fresh orange and a few thickly cut slices of refreshing cucumber. Mix it, add a generous amount of ice and enjoy.
Picture a jug full, dark, like the colour of whiskey, droplets of condensation running down the exterior, placed on a tray with some tall glasses, ready to be poured, heaven…..
Feature Image: Cath Kidston