Summer serves up heat and more heat and we in turn serve up lemonade and ice-cream cones, Perrier and the season's hundredth gin and tonic. Delights when they first appeared in May, they are now set out with boring frequency.
Why not, instead of gin and tonic, Pimm's Cup? Replace lemonade with chilled, spiced teas; or invite friends for a light summer buffet and serve any of the following drinks, which can be found at local restaurants.
The Golden Temple
(Makes one glass)
In a blender, whir together 4 ounces of yogurt, a handful of ice, 2 ounces of lime or lemon juice, one tablespoon of honey and a few drops of rosewater (optional).
Lassi can replace afternoon tea, served with finger sandwiches of whole wheat bread, mayonnaise, paper-thin slices of cucumber and pieces of chicken breast. With the sandwiches, offer a basket filled with ripe peaches.
La Donda Restaurant
(Approximately 2 quarts)
Slice fruit into a pitcher - an apple, orange and lemon, and now that they're in season, strawberries and a peach. Fill the pitcher 3/4 full with a Zinfandel or hearty Burgundy. Add a shot of gin and brandy and a cinnamon stick (optional). Chill the pitcher for two or three hours. Before serving, fill it to the top with 7-Up, gingerale or club soda.
Serve with guacamole, a plate of taco chips drizzled with cheese sauce (melt grated cheddar chees in the top of a double boiler with a little vermouth and jalapeno peppers to taste), olives and canitas (little chunks of pork shoulder, sprinkled with salt and pepper and cooked either in a frying pan with a little water or in a slow oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours - until they get crispy and have rendered their fat.)
The Inn at Little Washington
Put a scoop of raspberry or cassis sherbet into a champagne glass and fill the glass with a good, chilled champagne.
The Inn's Patrick O'Connell suggests that you serve with it his Nouvelle Duck a la Orange.
Dress a bed of fresh, crispy cooked snow peas with a vinaigrette to which you have added a few drops each of soy sauce and sesame oil. On the snow peas arrange breast of duck skinned, warmed and thinly sliced. On top of the duck, add a layer of orange slices and, sprinkled over the whole, a julienne of the duck skin - which has been crisped in a hot oven - and the blanched orange peel. No one will accuse you of contributing to the summer doldrums. CAPTION: Picture, no caption