Recipe: sparkling watermelon agua fresca
There has been all manner of blerg going on for the past few days (really, the past couple of months). We’ve been troopers, getting through one thing after another. It’s mentally and physically taxing such that I have resorted to filtering out the negativity more than usual. I don’t want to spend my energy on that. Interestingly, this activity has revealed who the positive people are in my circles. Of course, I don’t mean sunshine and lollipops “happy happy! joy joy!” people (they make me want to hurl). I like folks who are realists, yet still spread good vibes and kindness with a side of snark or sass. These folks are the ones who consistently bring a smile to my face or teach me to be more thoughtful. So thanks, friends, for keeping it real. Here are some things that have been great so far this week:
finding the time to step out and catch sunset
we installed new blinds to keep the house cooler this summer (yes!!!)
sushi with my sweetheart
a mustard blooming in the yard
We’ve swapped out the flannel sheets in favor of cooler cotton sheets. The windows remain open overnight because temperatures are no longer dipping below freezing. And there is no snow in the forecast (*sob*). From now until the first snowfall of the ski season, it’s all about staying cool for me. While water tends to be my beverage of choice, I occasionally indulge in iced tea (although the caffeine makes me bonkers), an Arnold Palmer, or some fruity juicy thing like an agua fresca. In this case, we’re making a sparkling watermelon agua fresca.
watermelon, limes, sugar, seltzer water
combine water and sugar to make a simple syrup
juice the limes
I used a seedless medium watermelon for this recipe, which means there are still plenty of little pliable baby seeds (that’s like saying baby babies). OCD me went ahead and removed all of those with a sharp knife, but if you are planning on straining your watermelon juice, then leave the seeds. I like the fiber in the juice, because it is good for me.
dice the watermelon
simple syrup, lime juice, watermelon
into the blender goes the watermelon
Originally, I kept the simple syrup and lime juice on the light side (1/4 cup of sugar in the simple syrup and 1/4 cup of lime juice). I think if you drink the agua fresca straight, then do this. If you plan to dilute it with seltzer water, then you may or may not want to double the amount of sugar and lime juice. It’s your call.
add the simple syrup and lime juice
pour over ice
top it off with seltzer water
What you get is a delightfully refreshing, mildly fizzy, fruity cooler. Spike it with booze if that is your inclination, but definitely make this for summer while the melons are sweet and the patios and decks beckon. Agua fresca is particularly good buddies with tortilla chips and salsa (and guacamole – I was wanting for some guacamole).
this looks relaxing (unless you are allergic, then it’s probably terrifying)
think positive thoughts and fruity drinks
Sparkling Watermelon Agua Fresca
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
48 oz. (8 cups) watermelon, cut into cubes and deseeded (unless you plan to strain it, then leave the seeds)
1/2 cup lime juice
Stir the sugar and water together in a small saucepan over high heat until it comes to a boil and the sugar has dissolved. Remove the simple syrup from heat, let cool. Place the watermelon (in 2 batches, if necessary) in a blender and purée the fruit until it is liquid. Strain the watermelon juice if you want (I prefer to keep the fiber in). Pour the watermelon juice into a large pitcher with the simple syrup and the lime juice. Refrigerate. Makes about 8 cups. To serve: Fill a glass with ice. Fill the glass 1/2 to 3/4 full with the agua fresca (depending on how sweet you like it) and top the rest off with seltzer water. Stir and serve.
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