By Katerina Skarbinec
Whenever summer comes around to Aomori, I alternately love it and dislike it. I love that I can go outside in sandals, that my laundry actually dries when I hang it up and that the sun shines almost every day.
What I dislike about summer mostly boils down to one word we all know and loathe: humidity. Where I’m from in the UK, summer means several weeks of mostly overcast skies, one week of hot sun during which everyone escapes to the beach, and a few storms. Because of this, I’m woefully under-equipped to deal with Japan’s constant, exhausting summer heatwaves, and so am always looking for different ways to make the humidity a little more bearable.
On that note and since summer is now in full swing in Aomori, I want to introduce you all to something refreshing from home with a bit of a Japan slant: the classic English summer cocktail, Pimms. Though traditionally drunk during Wimbledon by ladies in ridiculous hats, it’s actually pretty versatile. The typical recipe uses a gin-based alcohol called Pimms which is infused with herbs, orange and spices. The alcohol itself is pretty much impossible to find in Japan, so this recipe will focus instead on non-alcoholic Pimms. It’s really easy to make and tastes pretty true to the original, so you won’t be missing out.
To make enough for six people, you will need:
- 2 litres lemonade (this is the fizzy lemon-flavoured drink, not lemon juice). Your best bet in Japan is Kirin Lemon, but we managed to make it with Sprite and it’s still pretty good.
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Cucumber and mint leaves to garnish
*Almost any fruit is fine, so it’s a great recipe for any season. Experiment with different combinations of fruit and see what happens!
A good starter combination of fruit is:
- 1 apple
- 1 orange
- 1 handful of mixed summer berries
Really Super Easy Directions
- Pour two litres of Kirin Lemon into a pitcher or bowl and add one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Mix well.
- Chop any large fruit into small wedges; small berries can be left as they are. Put all fruit in the pitcher/bowl and stir gently.
- Top with a wedge of cucumber and some mint leaves and serve.
You may find that since you’re adding fruit to the liquid, it will all float to the top, giving you a “glass half empty” effect. Don’t worry, this is actually what it’s supposed to look like. Of course, you can put the fruit in your drinking glasses first and then pour the lemonade-vinegar mix on top if you prefer. You can also add ice, but be careful that your glasses don’t overflow. I recommend adding ice before the fruit in this case.
Do you have any delicious dishes or local eateries you want to share? Send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org