As we approach July, there’s one thing that pretty much all of us can count on… It’s gonna be hot. Really hot. And as picturesque as it may look outdoors — with lots of puffy, white clouds and blue skies, the fact remains… you could fry an egg on the sidewalk. You might think your only option is to barricade yourself indoors under a blanket of air-conditioning and a marathon of Lifetime movies, but here’s another one. Watermelon-Mint Agua Fresca.
Instead of sodas, which I find to be either too sweet (regular soda) or too saccharine-y (diet-soda), try a refreshing spa water recipe or this agua fresca that really refreshes.
If you like a less sweet beverage, it’s great on its own. But for a hint more oomph, I also add mint simple syrup to taste. It only takes a few minutes to make and adds another dimension.
I like using watermelon because it naturally yields a lot of juice. Four cups of melon made nearly 3 cups of liquid!
The color is also singularly spectacular. Imagine — a real fruit drink where the color doesn’t come from Red 40. You might need a double batch if there’s kids, because they will want some.
Club soda or sparkling water adds fizz like a regular soda, but you won’t get this flavor from a can of cola!
If your party is strictly grown-ups, I’ll look the other way if you want to tip some rum or tequila into the mix.
Watermelon-Mint Agua Fresca
For simple syrup
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves roughly chopped
For Agua Fresca
- 4 cups seedless watermelon
- club soda or sparkling water
- 1 lime cut into 8 wedges
For the simple syrup
- In a small saucepan over medium high heat, combine sugar, water and mint, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain mint leaves from syrup. Discard mint. (Syrup can be refrigerated up to one week, covered)
For Watermelon Juice
- Add watermelon to blender and puree until very smooth. Place a fine mesh sieve over a small bowl or a 4-cup measure. Strain pulp from juice through the sieve, pressing on the solids with the back of a spoon to yield the most juice. Discard solids.
- Chill juice, simple syrup and club soda at least 4 hours, until very cold. (Can be done the day before).
For individual drinks
- In a glass, mix 3/4 cup watermelon juice with 1-2 tablespoons of simple syrup (or to taste). Add 1/4-1/2 cup of club soda and a squeeze of lime. Serve.
More Refreshing Drinks:
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