Summer refreshments

It’s been a bit hotter than usual here in Scotland over the past few months which has led to some experimenting with some new-to-me (non-alcoholic) beverages to cool down and stay refreshed.

First up, cold-brewed coffee. The only way to separate me from my morning coffee would be to pry it from my cold, dead hands. However, I struggle to drink hot coffee in hot weather and while I love iced coffee I am horribly fussy about it. I don’t take milk in my coffee so don’t want it in my iced coffee either and hot-brewed, black coffee has a tendency to bitterness when it cools. The solution: cold-brewed coffee (shown below before filtering).

Cold brew coffee

This takes a bit of advance preparation since coffee takes a lot longer to brew in cold water than in hot water but, that aside, is brilliantly simple. Put coffee (I use the same ground coffee that I would usually use in my cafetière) and cold water in a jug in a 1:2 ratio (I use 1.75 American measuring cups of coffee to 3.5 cups of cold water). Cover and leave to stand for 12 hours. Then filter the coffee, which I do using my usual cafetière, re-cover and refrigerate. Once it’s cold, it can be served as-is or with milk or over ice depending on your preference.

Next up, strawberry drinking vinegar, also known as strawberry shrub. Despite the unappealing names, this is a tangy, fruity cordial-like drink which is delicious diluted. I used this recipe but didn’t wait the full week after adding the sugar, just until the sugar had fully dissolved.

Strawberry Shrub Strawberry Shrub

Perfect when diluted with fizzy water. Now all I need is the warm weather to come back!

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