baked oats green chile chicken enchiladas chow mein bakery-style butter cookies

copyright jennifer yu © 2004-2023 all rights reserved: no photos or content may be reproduced without prior written consent


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

watermelon juice

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
[print recipe]

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
seltzer water

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.

more goodness from the use real butter archives

watermelon feta salad watermelon frozen yogurt watermelon sorbet cucumber spritzer

17 nibbles at “positively”

  1. farmerpam says:

    Looks so good, like summer in a glass!

  2. Jane | Not Plain So Jane says:

    The farmer’s market I go to on Sunday has awesome agua frescas. I agree I like a pulpier beverage and it is good fiber.

  3. debbie says:

    So refreshing…perfect for the months ahead.

  4. Kristin says:

    I nearly spit out my yogurt when I read the allergy comment. This looks delicious! Hope the blerg is dealt with & over soon.

  5. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    This is so lovely!! Cool idea!

  6. Fiona says:

    “Unless you’re allergic…” Jen – yesterday you made me cry (I am late catching up) and today you made me laugh. All before 7am. This is why I (and others) love your voice.

  7. Pam says:

    It looks so refreshing and delicious!

  8. Trolleira says:

    Yep, definitely terrifying! ;-)

  9. Neha says:

    That looks really good! Question: do you think this would work if I made it for a party? Can it sit a while or would it lose fizz? Or is it best made and consumed right after?

  10. L. says:

    I am probably going to make this for my kids, then regret it, because they will never want to drink anything else ever again. Looks soooo perfect with that guacamole and salsa.

    I hope you’re surrounded by more positivity and less negativity soon.

  11. Linda says:

    Don’t forget that old Latin saying that goes “Illegitimi non carborundum” (Don’t let the bastards grind you down). If that doesn’t work, soothing words while you smother them with a pillow can make you feel REALLY good! Hugs and Kisses from San Diego. Remember, we love you….xoxo

    The aqua fresca looks wonderful!

  12. Holly says:

    That agua fresca looks so refreshing. I have to try it when I buy my first watermelon of the season. Last year I put frozen watermelon chunks in the blender along with some limoncello and whirred it up to make a great pale pink frosty thirst quencher after long hikes.

  13. Cindi says:

    That looks so refreshing ~ and different! And pretty. :)

  14. Jarome says:

    I am a watermelon baby and this is so refreshing. Perfect for summer here in the Philippines. I love how you use the lemon for this recipe. XOXO

  15. Andra says:

    Delicious! It’s a Jolly Rancher in a glass!

  16. jill says:

    This looks so refreshing! Yum Yum. It was delightful running into you shopping the other day. You two are a marvelous couple. Hope I didn’t slow you down with yakky yak. TPH sends his love.

  17. jenyu says:

    Kristin – oh, I only mention that because one of my friends is allergic to melons :)

    Fiona – ;) xoxo

    Trolleira – are you allergic?

    Neha – I think you can make it ahead of time EXCEPT for combining with the fizzy water. Just keep it in the refrigerator and before you are ready to serve, mix it with the fizzy water per glass.

    L – thank you, I think I’m getting there :)

    Linda – that’s a good reminder and the other suggestion ;) xo

    Holly – mmm, what a great idea!

    Jarome – ha ha!

    jill – didn’t slow us down at all :) Great to see you and hope you’re doing well. Much love to both of you xoxo

leave a reply