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Drink! Drink!

May 9, 2009 | by Chef Herschel Arnow

It's summer and we need to drink a lot. Here are some of my favorite concoctions.

It's summer and we need to drink a lot of fluids. Many physical problems diminish when one is drinking enough liquid. When entertaining, adding an interesting drink makes for fun and excitement.

We have a lot of fun with drinks in our house.

Water with a Twist

Take a nice glass pitcher, put in slices of lemon, a few mint leaves and water with ice. It makes drinking water a thrill.

Flavored Carbonated Drink Surprise

Oftentimes in your area there will be a local bottler of beverages that makes many different flavors of carbonated drinks. The local bottlers are far less expensive than the name brands. We use flavors like pink grapefruit, melon, apple, and lemon.

We don't tell anyone what we are doing. In the kitchen, for example, we take a pink grapefruit peel and slice it, put it in a glass pitcher and add carbonated pink grapefruit drink with ice. Our guests marvel over the drink. We explain that we make the drink weeks in advance and when it ferments, it's ready to serve. After they rave about it a while longer, we tell them the truth. They all love it and do it at their next affair. We use real melon with melon flavor, sliced apple with apple flavor, lemons and oranges with lemonade and orange drinks.



The Best Lemonade

Ingredients for 1.5 liters of juice:

1/2 bunch mint leaves (leaves only)
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 cups water
4 cups squeezed lemon juice or equivalent from a bottle
4 cups ice cubes
3 lemons, sliced thin

Boil sugar, water and lemon juice. Cool; add ice, lemon slices and mint leaves.

Serve in a nice glass pitcher.


This most famous of all Italian desserts is very quick and simple to make, but make it immediately before serving as it is apt to separate if left to stand for more than a few minutes. A superb light dessert to complete a meal.

From the Encyclopedia of Italian Cooking

Metric / Imperial

4 egg yolks
4 tbsps. caster sugar
1 tbsp. warm water
7 tbsps. Marsala
sponge fingers to serve


4 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. warm water
7 tbsps. Marsala
lady fingers to serve

Place the egg yolks, sugar and warm water in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water. Beat with a balloon or rotary whisk (not an electric beater) until pale in color and frothy.

Whisk in the Marsala a little at a time and continue whisking over heat for 5-10 minutes until the mixture increases in volume, becomes thick and foamy and holds its shape in a spoon.

Remove from heat and spoon into tall wine glasses. Serve immediately with sponge fingers (lady fingers).

Makes 3-4 servings.


A typical Sicilian fruit-based water ice. Melon ice can be made in the same way, by replacing the peaches with 750 g / 1 1/2 lbs. ripe, peeled and deseeded ogen melon flesh.

From the Encyclopedia of Italian Cooking

Metric / Imperial

100 g / 4 oz. sugar
150 ml / 1/4 pint water
4 large peaches
juice of 1 lemon


1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
4 large peaches
juice of 1 lemon

Put the sugar and water into a small pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, then boil for 3-4 minutes. Leave until quite cold.

Immerse the peaches in boiling water for 1 minute, then drain and remove the skins and stones (seeds). Immediately, purée the flesh in an electric blender or press through a nylon sieve (strainer), then mix with the lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Stir in the cold syrup, pour into a shallow freezer tray and freeze until half firm.

Turn into a bowl and whisk vigorously for a few minutes, then return to the tray and freeze until firm.

Transfer to the refrigerator 30-40 minutes before serving to allow the ice to soften a little. To serve, scoop the water ice into individual glasses.

Makes 4 servings.

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