Not that I'm an alcoholic or anything, but on hot days like this, I like to sit on the back verandah with a cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc and watch the day dissolve into twilight. I listen to that magical sound of crickets as they wake to the increasing darkness. A darkness that brings a small element of relief from the heat. And I like to do it all whilst sipping wine. I find when I do stop drinking wine and alcohol, what I miss most is this little ritual that surrounds its consumption. That special treat at the end of the day.
So I've concocted this drink which, I'm fairly sure, is far from original. I know all three ingredients are commonly used in water, but I'm not sure if they're habitually used together in sparkling water. Anyhoo, I find it a sugar/alcohol/carb free treat, packed with physical, emotional and neurological benefits. I know!
Yup! Throw a couple of slices of lime, cucumber and a few mint leaves (squish them with your fingers first), two ice cubes into a glass and fill to the top with sparkling water -- you've got yourself a refreshing drink brimming with health benefits.
Studies have shown that just the scent of mint is linked to boosted cognition and improvement in problem-solving and memory function. Any of you who have read my book or heard me speak know that the absolute key to kicking depression is problem-solving!
Cucumber Is best known as a remedy for fluid retention...something we're not strangers to on hot and humid days. But, in addition to ridding your body of excess fluid (and all the nasty toxins floating in that fluid) - cucumber is recommended in Chinese medicine to calm the mind and lift depression. For me, personally, the smell of cut cucumber reminds me of my favourite salad sandwiches my Mum used to make for me in School holidays. So the mere scent of a cut cumber lifts my mood.
Lime revives your mind and reduces the presence of stress hormones in your body by optimising liver function. It's our livers that are responsible for reducing excess amounts of hormones from our systems...which is why drinking alcohol to alleviate stress is a short-term, band-aid solution that is counterproductive to the overall reduction of stress and its ill effects.
But best of all...it tastes fantastic and is incredibly refreshing! Put it in a cocktail glass and decorate with an umbrella and you just might trick your mind into thinking you're having a decadent cocktail on a sun-bleached island paradise!