When I tell people I don’t drink because I am allergic to alcohol, they think I am making it up. Until, after downing a mojito or two, they witness my bouts of relentless sneezing, watering eyes and non stop nose dripping, as if I stood in a newly mowed lawn on a windy Spring day. My body always knew that alcohol and I were not destined to form a long-lasting friendship and I never craved it. Sure, I experimented in my youth with rum and Coke, some beer now and then but I can count the times I got drunk on two fingers. They both happened more than 25 years ago and, to this day, I am happy never to experience a hangover again.
But one grows up, our palate changes and I decided a drink now and then had to be introduced in my life. Because I drink so sparingly, I can savor the experience and attach it to specific memories that still bring a smile to my face. The refreshing taste of a Corona coming up from the beach in Tulum, where sofagirl and I had repaired for some R&R at an eco-resort, where we were massaged by a Shaman and read books by candlelight.
Or the time I went to visit her in New York and we ended up at a bar on Columbus Circle, overlooking Central Park and, after a record-breaking three mojitos, I giggled all the way home in the back of a bike taxi (an experience I vowed never to repeat).
Campari, is clearly, my drink of choice and when, a few weeks ago, fellow blogger Ambra alerted me to the existence of the Campari shandy, I was intrigued and a bit skeptical. Shandy is what I would term a “wuss” drink – who would mix beer with lemonade or ginger ale? Well, very many people do and enjoy it and, as it was invented in Germany, a beer country if ever there was one, who am I to argue? Still, I wasn’t sold on the idea of mixing Campari and beer but I was willing to try.
Taking advantage of the unprecedented heat wave that engulfed California last week, I made myself a hearty lunch – booze at lunch is unheard of in my world! – and I followed Ambra’s recipe:
50 ml Campari
300 ml light beer
1 slice of lemon
I let the foam subside and sat down with my curry and the Campari shandy. I was still skeptical this would work. The verdict? It works. The bitterness the Campari lends to the hops is quite pleasing. The taste is refreshing, though by marrying alcohol with more alcohol, I was quite buzzed halfway through it, curry notwithstanding.
On the upside, the beginning of a pesky headache was pushed aside by my need to relax into a nap. Weather forecasters are telling us we are in a for a gruesomely hot Summer – if the Campari shandy can make me forget the heat, I am all for it.