Trust the French to come up with a drink that combines healthy living with the Good Life, i.e., alcohol.

Going round the French supermarket a few days ago I spied with my little eye an intriguing object entitled ‘Fruits and Wine’ (in English, quel horreur!). It came in two flavours, ‘Peaches and white wine’ and ‘Strawberries and rosé wine’ (in French this time), and I was tempted to try the latter. The 3-litre cardboard container was forbiddingly large, but I decided to take a chance, and bought it anyway.

Having lugged it back to the place where we are staying, I wrestled for quite some time to decipher the instructions for opening it, but eventually worked out that somewhere inside there was a plastic container with a tap. More wrestling, and eventually the recalcitrant tap emerged into the light of day.

The procedure was something akin to delivering a baby in the breach presentation, admittedly on a smaller scale. In addition, I personally suffered no pain, though perhaps the tap did. A twist, a turn, exertion of a little bit of pressure, and hey presto, out came a stream of pinkish-reddish liquid into the waiting glass (I had wisely decided to undertake the operation next to the kitchen sink, but not a drop got spilled, I’m happy to say).

The resulting liquid was utterly delicious to drink. It is fruit juice with a little kick in it, and is highly recommended both as a thirst quencher and for medicinal purposes (e.g., if you have a lot of pills to take it’s a lot more fun than drinking plain water).

It’s also very handy for social occasions. Your guests think they’re getting a soft drink, but then suddenly become very animated. Another side-effect may be that they’re reluctant to leave, but there’s nothing wrong with long visits when everyone’s on holiday and no one’s in any particular hurry to go anywhere or do anything.

The strawberries and wine container is almost finished, and on my next supermarket visit I think I’ll try the peaches and white wine. After all, I owe it to my never-ending quest for nectar and ambrosia.