Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Watermelon Agua Fresca
The forecast for the rest of the week here is in the 100s..... that's a little toasty for my taste. I find the difference between 100 here in the midwest and 100 in the Northeast (if it ever gets that warm) is that while in the Northeast the sun bakes you from above and you can easily take refuge in the shade of a tree. The sun and the heat of the Midwest has more of a convection oven heat. You can hide in the shade but it isn't going to do you any good... assuming you can find a tree big enough to even provide shade that is.
The best you can do is stay in your a/c and attempt to stay hydrated. If you are like the husband you get sick of water and staying hydrated can be a problem as you can't acheive this with black coffee... sorry husband but you can't. Here is a sneaky way to use up the leftovers from the giant melons that seemed like a great idea when you were in the store, and to sneak in some hydration for your coffee loving husband.
First... it is Agua Fresca... not Aqua Fresca as I have been calling it for years.... ahhh hindsight embarassment my favorite. It is my understanding that Agua Fresca means water refreshment and can be basically made from anything, although some areas make them out of things like rice and cereals which does not sound very refreshing to me but I've never tried it. I made this one from what I had in the refridgerator and it was great. I will most likely be making it again with the cantelopes that were on sale for $1 a piece at the store yesterday, I have a shopping problem and it carries over to all areas. I don't know why I thought I would need 10 cantelopes but I probably don't... or maybe it was a sixth sense that the heat was coming and I would need them for drinks, yeah that sounds good, let's go with that. Enjoy.
Watermelon Agua Fresca
From Eileen's Little Pea Brain
Adapted loosely from Gourmet
1 (4-pound) melon (I think I had about a 2 pound but I went with it anyway
1 1/2 cups water
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (I used 2 of lemon)
1 tablespoon sugar (optional, I skipped this because I used tonic water)
1/4 teaspoons salt
1 quart chilled club soda or seltzer (I used leftover tonic from gin and tonics)
Purée melon in batches with water in a blender or food processor. Beware, I filled our food processor too full and once it liquified the melon it spilled over the top and all over the counter and floor as the tops are apparently not leak proof.
Transfer to a colander lined with cheesecloth... I had no cheesecloth so I used a wet paper towel. Not the best solution but it was just us and it was an experiment. I will put cheesecloth on my grocery list right now. Drain for an hour or until it looks like you can get no more liquid. Use the paper towel to hold the solids while you squeeze and remaining liquid from the pulpy part of the watermelon. Discard solids. Stir in remaining ingredients and chill for an hour or serve over ice.
I read that you can made the base without the tonic or club soda ahead and just add the bubbly stuff right before serving. I will do that next time as it made a lot and we could not drink it all in one sitting. If you store it be sure to give it a good stir before serving as it separates after about an hour.