It’s rainy season in Hong Kong, we’ve had everything from grey days and drizzle to epic sky shattering thunderstorms with torrential rain that turns the roads to rivers. While the thunderstorms are incredible to see, Hong Kong in the rain is a dismal place to be. The sky scrapers lose their magnificence and the horizon becomes a wall of grey concrete and glass. The sea disappears behind a wall of mist. My bus ride to work, winding up over the hills, loses it’s poetic, hazy sunrise over awakening blue waters, and becomes a dank trip through walls of nothing. In the streets people fight for space for thousands of umbrellas. Raindrops roll down a sea of coloured domes, sheltering dozens upon dozen of hunched over people, hurrying for the dry. Daily I find myself impaled on umbrella spikes which, to the western build, are at perilous eye height. What we haven’t had much of is sunshine. Until yesterday. Yesterday the sun came out.
Instantly the world is a different place. Families venture out to walk along the seafront, couples hold hands and sneak kisses on the beach. Lines form and snake along the pavement by the ice cream van producing cone after cone of it’s only offering. The sun glints off the glossy, green tiles on temple roofs and the blue gently rippling seas. Moods lift and the working week seems a long way off.
In honour of the sun returning I made these. It’s a drink we drank all over Thailand, and it’s the perfect thing for a hot day. Sweet and tangy lemon juice blended with crushed ice. They’re incredibly easy to make, and require hardly any ingredients. They would be quick to whip up by the jug load for summer parties and barbecues with a few extra lemons sliced in for colour. In Thailand they also add a little salt, which I’ve omitted here, but when you’re spending long days sweating under a baking sun, adding a little salt back into your body is probably a very good idea.
You could, of course, add in a few slugs of something naughty for those warm summer nights. I won’t tell if you don’t.
Iced Lemon Smoothie
Juice of two lemons
a cup of ice
Dissolve the sugar into the lemon juice.
Add into a blender with your ice, and blend until you have a crushed, slushy drink. Add extra sugar to taste.