Spanish summer

Illustration By Mark Stivers

It’s August: Why aren’t you on vacation? Europeans take an eminently sensible approach when they head out of town and loll about drinking mild aperitifs all month long. I personally like to take a cue from the Spanish, at least after 5 p.m. That’s the time to start in on a tinto de verano. It’s a simple concoction of red wine (try the cheapest Tempranillo you can find) and fizzy lemon soda (San Pellegrino Limonata is perfect), poured over ice, that manages to be refreshing and neither too sweet nor too intoxicating. If you can manage to lift yourself out of your lounge chair, fry up some slices of imported Palacios chorizo (available at Corti Brothers) for the simplest tapas around, along with a hunk of Manchego and some bread, olives and almonds. If you’re ambitious, you could try to have a bowl of chilled gazpacho waiting in the fridge. If you can’t take the whole month off, you can at least pretend.