Watermelon has always been a summer staple and rightly so. Cold and refreshing and simple to prepare, it was just a matter of time until people had to start messing with it — witness the hundreds of watermelon and feta salads that have popped up in the past couple of summers. This year, however, it seems like the trend is to drink our watermelons. The Accidental Locavore had the first watermelon agua fresca at Café el Presidente earlier this spring, on a night that was so cold and rainy summer seemed like a mirage. It was delicious, light and refreshing (and the shot of silver tequila didn’t hurt). Just before the Fourth of July weekend, I saw this recipe on Food Republic and gave it a try. It’s really simple, a little messy, and totally worth it! Makes a little more than a half-gallon.
- 16 cups cubed seedless red watermelon, about a 12″ watermelon’s worth
- 2 cups water
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 bunch fresh mint
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- Club Soda or seltzer
- Vodka or silver tequila (optional)
- Lime slices, for garnish
Combine the watermelon, water, sugar and mint in a blender; purée. Pour through a coarse strainer into a large container.
Stir in lime juice. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 4 hours. Shake container well before using.
To serve, fill a tall glass with ice, add a splash of vodka or tequila (if using), fill about 2/3 with the watermelon mixture, top with club soda and garnish with lime. Serve and enjoy!
My verdict: All our weekend guests loved this, with and without the alcohol! Because it holds more, I started to use my food processor to make this. Big mistake! Sticky liquid everywhere, plus it doesn’t purée it well enough. Use a blender and be prepared to make it in batches. You might want more lime juice than it calls for, taste it and see. My watermelon was about 12 pounds and was 12″ in diameter. Definitely give this a try, especially when seedless watermelons are on sale!