My life in drinks, ADELE PARKS: ‘I have a glass of champagne every night’
My favourite drink as a child was milk. We used to get those little old-fashioned milk bottles with tinfoil lids in primary school. I liked being a milk monitor, giving out the bottles and getting spares if there were any. I remember there being a Blue Peter appeal for aluminium foil. I spent months collecting the milk bottle lids, then I got my nana to send them off.
According to the family myth, I had a nip of whisky from early on. I don’t remember this, but I was a hyperactive baby. I didn’t sleep well, so the doctor told my parents to put a little whisky in my bottle to help me sleep. Can you imagine a doctor advising that now?
As a five-year-old, I’d have a small glass of watered-down sherry with some fruitcake at my great-grandma’s. She was 85 and housebound – she lived next door to my grandma – so I’d visit her and we’d play dominoes. I loved it.
Adele says her favourite drink as a child was milk and that she used to get those old-fashioned milk bottles with tinfoil lids in primary school
I discovered Aperol spritz during my gap year in Taranto, Southern Italy, where I was teaching English
I didn’t start drinking socially until I was 21. I went to country pubs before that [Parks was brought up in the small Northeast town of Eaglescliffe], but I had to drive so I didn’t try red wine until I was at university. It was a definite affectation to make me look more sophisticated. It was also a mistake, as the red wines you can afford as a student are rough.
I discovered Aperol spritz during my gap year in Taranto, Southern Italy, where I was teaching English. I didn’t know my wines, so I was looking for a drink that I could order readily and the bittersweet aperitivo is a big sundowner in Italy. Now sunny days are Aperol spritz days and I always associate it with the most wonderful year.
My juicer is my favourite gadget – I start each day with kale, celery, apple and lemon juice. I began making it a few years ago, when I thought I needed more vitamins, and I’ve become addicted. It feels like a big injection of health.
My friends call me ‘champagne Parks’. I’m not too keen on prosecco or cava but I love champagne. I’ll open a bottle a week and have a glass at night. I started drinking it in my 20s, when it was only associated with celebrations. People would serve it as a toast and that would probably be my only drink.
My favourite champagne is Taittinger. I also regularly buy Nicolas Feuillatte from Sainsbury’s. It’s made from the same grapes as Taittinger [chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier], similar in taste and significantly cheaper [£28 a bottle].
My son’s friend gave me a bottle of vintage Dom Pérignon at the party to celebrate my MBE, which I thought was ridiculously generous. He admitted that he’d never tried it, so my son, four or five of his friends and I drank it. That was a really special moment.
My husband [Jim] doesn’t drink. He’s completely teetotal, but he has a great attitude towards everybody else drinking and is often the barman. Recently, we were on holiday and I really liked the spicy margarita I had ordered, so he asked the bar staff how they made it and what tequila they used. Then when we got home he re-created it for me.
I love an oat milk latte. I always thought that oat milk was either for people who genuinely needed it, or a bit of a pretension, so I avoided it. Then I got served somebody else’s oat milk latte by accident and I thought it was delicious.
Without question, everyone will be drinking champagne at my funeral. I want to live for a very, very long time, but towards the end, I’ll start stockpiling champagne so my family and friends will be able to really indulge themselves.
- Adele Parks’s latest novel, Just Between Us, is published by HQ, £14.99*