Agua Fresca, Sparkling Watermelon Juice
Summertime means fresh melon abounds. One of my favorite things to drink is watermelon juice, though honeydew, cantaloupe and other melons also make a great sweet but refreshing summer beverage.
- One large melon or two to three small.
- Lemon or Lime
- Sparkling Water
Contributed by: Gabriel Avila-Mooney
When choosing a ripe watermelon here are a couple of tips:
Color – Look for a melon that is dull, not shiny, dark not light and one that has a field spot. This is the place where the watermelon laid on the ground, it should be creamy, not white, but white is better than none at all.
Shape – Find a melon that is uniform in shape. This shows that it had adequate supply of water and nutrients.
Sound – Holding the melon away from your body, give it a rap with your knuckles. It should sound more like a tenor than a bass. A low bass sound can mean it has split inside and there might be empty space, a condition known by farmer’s as ‘hollow heart’.
Bee sting – Look at where the stem was cut from the melon. The best melons may have a drop of what looks like sap or hardened honey, a sign of abundant sugar content.
- Once you’ve chosen your melon, chop into chunks, puree in a food processor and press the juice through a sieve to remove the pulp or use a juicer if you have one. You’ll be left with just the sweet, refreshing juice.
- Shake this with ice and top with soda water. Other delicious additions are muddled mint, slices of lemon cucumber (or even the juice of lemon cucumbers), a squeeze of lemon or lime or an addition of any other seasonal juice like peaches or plums.
- A splash of gin or vodka can also be a delicious addition for making some adult beverages. Just remember to shake well with plenty of ice to chill thoroughly before serving.