Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Refreshingly Redundant: Watermelon Melon Water

tall and cool by the pool
For the second year in a row, we have had an unseasonably cold summer. The fog creeps in each evening with its damp chilly mists, thickly blanketing the whole valley and daring the sun to burn it off the next day before noon. Elsewhere there are chart-busting heatwaves... but not here... not in Brigadoon.

Because warm sunny days are so few and far between, when we are gifted with one, I try to make the most of it by doing something super summer-y. Something best experienced only in the summer. Like drinking aguas frescas and dancing in the craggy heathered foothills with Gene Kelly... before the mists return.

Watermelon agua fresca is one of my favorites. It's especially refreshing when sparked with peppermint and lime...

Agua de Sandia (Watermelon Water) 
adapted from this recipe in the Seattle Times
  1. Fill blender jar half-way with chunks of watermelon. Fill it the rest of the way with water.
  2. Blend, blend, blend... then blend some more. Use the "Liquify" setting if you've got it.
  3. Add a splash of Peppermint Syrup and a couple good squeezes of fresh lime (or lemon) juice.
  4. Taste it and add more sweet (peppermint syrup) or bright (lime juice) if you think it needs it.
  5. Transfer to a large pitcher and top off with a little more cold water.
  6. Pour into tall glasses filled with ice. Add a straw.
  7. Sit back and sip on some summer.
Peppermint Simple Syrup*
  1. Place 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water in a small pot on the stove.
  2. Add a big handful of clean fresh peppermint (leaves and stems). 
  3. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. As soon as it begins to boil, remove from heat, give one last stir and put the lid on it.
  5. Let it cool completely, then strain the leaves out and pour into a glass jar.
  6. Store in the fridge. Will keep for at least two weeks.
    *Peppermint Simple Syrup is also great in iced tea or drizzled over fresh fruit salad.
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    1. Oh, it's like watermelon lemonade. I think I am in love.

    2. @Kristin: It's very light on the lemon (or lime) but I bet it would taste great taking it even further toward lemonade! And maybe adding some sparkling water at the end?

    3. Pure watermelon juice is soooo expensive. This is a great way to enjoy the health benefits (B vitamins, magnesium and potassium) of watermelon on a budget! Great drink for us in Arizona all year!

    4. @ Tracey: Watermelons all year long? I'm totally jealous!


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