It's summer time and the boozing is easy ... and delicious

WHEN was the last time you really felt you were drinking a perfect drink? The right glass, the right temperature, the right mixture, composition, a veritable wash of refreshment and taste? Chances are, most of the time you knock back whatever is on offer &ndash; be it in the pub, or from your fridge at home.<br /><br />But Moore, author of a new book called How to Drink, is on a mission to change all this. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m writing about drink the way most people write about food,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;To make it fit into our lifestyle.&rdquo; We&rsquo;re sitting outside Paul in Holland Park &ndash; Moore has just walked from home and looks the absolute opposite of someone who drinks for a living. She is in a pale blue dress, her skin is dewy and lightly tanned, her eyes enormous and bright and her body a mere slip. Her healthy appearance reflects that she isn&rsquo;t interested in drinking a lot, only in drinking well &ndash; and eating well. Integral to her approach to drink is food, only instead of matching drink to food, she&rsquo;s quite happy to do it the other way round. Making cucumber martinis? Out comes the smoked salmon.<br /><br />Even so, isn&rsquo;t she glamourising booze-consumption and therefore contributing to the nation&rsquo;s liver failure? &ldquo;When people write about food, nobody jumps down their throat accusing them of encouraging obesity,&rdquo; she says with impatient passion. &ldquo;You have to separate binge drinking from drinking well. Alcohol has become an easy target, not least because it&rsquo;s an obvious means of taxation. Sure, we probably drink too much, but we eat too much too. &rdquo;<br /><br /><strong>WORTH IT</strong><br />Moore is just as particular about her smoothies and lattes as she is about her cocktails. No unit &ndash; be it alcohol or not &ndash; should be wasted, when each can be enjoyed. It takes some work and fussiness to get your drink right, but Moore believes it&rsquo;s worth it. &ldquo;I am quite fussy,&rdquo; she admits. &ldquo;Other people are quite fussy too, just not about their drinks. But its about reminding people: look, you&rsquo;re fussy about what you eat, why not about what you drink? &ndash; it&rsquo;s just not on our radar.&rdquo;<br /><br />Moore exudes a pleasant energy. She&rsquo;s not the type of person you&rsquo;d imagine demanding extra ice in her gin and tonic. But she is exacting. She tells me about a recent trip to Cafe Rouge where she fancied citron presse on a hot day. Grumpily they told her they didn&rsquo;t do that. &ldquo;But I thought, hang on, they&rsquo;ve got lemons, sugar and water. All they need to do is grind them together and throw some ice in. So I went back in asked again, explaining what they needed to do, and they grumblingly agreed to make one for me.&rdquo; Instead of secretly thinking of what an annoying customer she was, I thought of how lovely a citron presse sounded, and how I wanted one right then and there.<br /><br /><strong>FRESH FRUIT PUREE</strong><br />I start to confess to my own fussiness when it comes to drinks &ndash; my Starbucks choice is a venti iced Americano with sugar-free vanilla syrup and pouring cream on the side. Each element is integral to creating a drink I want to drink. Moore jumps in eagerly: &ldquo;I know. It&rsquo;s so the case that if there&rsquo;s any element slightly off, you&rsquo;re disappointed and can&rsquo;t properly enjoy the drink. Do you ever ask waiters if the bellinis or watermelon martinis are made from fresh fruit puree? I always do! No matter how good the place is, I always fear syrup, and then it&rsquo;s a waste of a drink.&rdquo;<br /><br />Does Moore envy the drink culture of Europe? &ldquo;I hadn&rsquo;t really thought about it,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;We have an amazing beer and wine culture in the UK, and we do all that very nicely. But with everything else, we have more choice than other countries; we&rsquo;re not parochial, we have our own traditions but we also like to try things. And of course, when it comes to wine, we have the best selection in the world.&rdquo; Can&rsquo;t think of a place it would be easier to drink well. Here&rsquo;s to that. How to Drink by Victoria Moore, Granta &pound;15.99<br /><strong><br />WHAT TO DRINK THIS SUMMER VICTORIA MOORE RECOMMENDS</strong><br />Lunch outdoors&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; A glass of Provencal rose <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; or a citron presse if not boozing.<br /><br />Early evening&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Bottle of Prosecco and a picky snack. Or, Moore&rsquo;s <br />drinks&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; favourite (she calls it The Baby Joe after her godson): <br />after work &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Prosecco mixed with sanguinello (red orange juice) <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; and Campari. <br /><br />Rainy afternoon&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Gin and tonic or a little bit of chilled dry sherry served in a <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; large wine glass.<br /><br />Casual dinner&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Bottle of red wine. &ldquo;For this kind of evening I like a <br />a deux&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; central Italian red; say a Sangiovese. But I&rsquo;d chill it a bit first &ndash; <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; people always drink red wine too warm &ndash; I often ask for an&nbsp; <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; ice bucket for red.&rdquo; Or a Southern Rhone red &ndash; &ldquo;perfect for <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; every day drinking.&rdquo; <br /><br />Brunch&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Iced coffee make from frozen cubes of dregs from a pot&nbsp; <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; you couldn&rsquo;t finish, smashed together with milk. Or freshly&nbsp; <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; squeezed orange juice with a few fresh cranberries <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; added for tanginess. <br /><br />Picnic&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Fizzy things. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s nothing nicer than a bottle of <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; cold lager&rdquo; &ndash; or, if like Moore you don&rsquo;t drink during the <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; day, Orangina.<br /><br />Safety summer wine to&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa or the Loire. <br />keep in fridge&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Joel Delaunay 2008 is good: &pound;6.99 from Majestic.