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 – 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. “I’m writing about drink the way most people write about food,” she says. “To make it fit into our lifestyle.” We’re sitting outside Paul in Holland Park – 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’t interested in drinking a lot, only in drinking well – and eating well. Integral to her approach to drink is food, only instead of matching drink to food, she’s quite happy to do it the other way round. Making cucumber martinis? Out comes the smoked salmon.<br /><br />Even so, isn’t she glamourising booze-consumption and therefore contributing to the nation’s liver failure? “When people write about food, nobody jumps down their throat accusing them of encouraging obesity,” she says with impatient passion. “You have to separate binge drinking from drinking well. Alcohol has become an easy target, not least because it’s an obvious means of taxation. Sure, we probably drink too much, but we eat too much too. ”<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 – be it alcohol or not – should be wasted, when each can be enjoyed. It takes some work and fussiness to get your drink right, but Moore believes it’s worth it. “I am quite fussy,” she admits. “Other people are quite fussy too, just not about their drinks. But its about reminding people: look, you’re fussy about what you eat, why not about what you drink? – it’s just not on our radar.”<br /><br />Moore exudes a pleasant energy. She’s not the type of person you’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’t do that. “But I thought, hang on, they’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.” 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 – 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: “I know. It’s so the case that if there’s any element slightly off, you’re disappointed and can’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’s a waste of a drink.”<br /><br />Does Moore envy the drink culture of Europe? “I hadn’t really thought about it,” she says. “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’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.” Can’t think of a place it would be easier to drink well. Here’s to that. How to Drink by Victoria Moore, Granta £15.99<br /><strong><br />WHAT TO DRINK THIS SUMMER VICTORIA MOORE RECOMMENDS</strong><br />Lunch outdoors A glass of Provencal rose <br /> or a citron presse if not boozing.<br /><br />Early evening Bottle of Prosecco and a picky snack. Or, Moore’s <br />drinks favourite (she calls it The Baby Joe after her godson): <br />after work Prosecco mixed with sanguinello (red orange juice) <br /> and Campari. <br /><br />Rainy afternoon Gin and tonic or a little bit of chilled dry sherry served in a <br /> large wine glass.<br /><br />Casual dinner Bottle of red wine. “For this kind of evening I like a <br />a deux central Italian red; say a Sangiovese. But I’d chill it a bit first – <br /> people always drink red wine too warm – I often ask for an <br /> ice bucket for red.” Or a Southern Rhone red – “perfect for <br /> every day drinking.” <br /><br />Brunch Iced coffee make from frozen cubes of dregs from a pot <br /> you couldn’t finish, smashed together with milk. Or freshly <br /> squeezed orange juice with a few fresh cranberries <br /> added for tanginess. <br /><br />Picnic Fizzy things. “There’s nothing nicer than a bottle of <br /> cold lager” – or, if like Moore you don’t drink during the <br /> day, Orangina.<br /><br />Safety summer wine to Bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa or the Loire. <br />keep in fridge Joel Delaunay 2008 is good: £6.99 from Majestic.