I have this week off and one of the jobs I'd set myself was to try and bring some sort of order to The Books. Something which is both a chore and a delight. A chore because there really isn't space for all The Books so it's mostly a case of shuffling things around from one heap to another, a delight because I always find loads of things I'd forgotten I had.
Today that was a couple of Eva Ibbotson books I bought a couple of summers ago because they seemed just the thing for lazy, hot day, reading. Despite plenty of hot days I never got round to them, but 'Madensky Square' is now much nearer the top of the pile.
Using soda or mineral water as a mixer in alcoholic drinks is something I came to relatively late - but it's a very good idea. Gin Ricky's were the gateway, followed by a revisitation of whisky and soda, and now with vermouth.
The drink I currently have in hand has got just enough vermouth in it to add flavour and a little bit of body - it alcohol content can only be a few percent. That flavour is complex enough to be thoroughly grown up, but it's also distinctly summery and frivolous. It's certainly not boozy enough to distract from reading or to make you think dinner can't come soon enough to soak up the alcohol.
Tonic water is a great way to go too, but it has a lot of sugar in it, I like the lighter feel of soda water, and the way that it lets the flavour of the Belsazar come through. If I was using tonic in the same ratio it would swamp the vermouth.