During hot summer days, water is the best choice for remaining hydrated. Yes, it can be a little repetitive and slightly boring but your body will thank you for getting all those good cups inside you. Once in a while though it is nice to have something special, tasty and maybe a little celebratory.
There are three variations below from the original mix. This is very much an add to taste recipe. You might have a super sweet watermelon and not want as much agave. You might like the tang of the lime juice and want to add another cup of fresh juice. There is absolutely no right or wrong. Just sip along the way and make it perfect for your taste buds.
There are several similar recipes in the electronic world that call for a simple syrup to be made with sugar and water. I used agave syrup instead. It was less time and effort. If agave is not sitting in your cupboard, mix equal amounts of sugar and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Make sure all the sugar has dissolved before cooling and substituting in the recipe. Subbing honey or maple syrup is another option.
Once thought to be just sugar water, we now know watermelon is rich in an amino acid called citrulline, that may help move blood through your body and is the reason it has been called nature’s Viagra. The red in the fruit of the watermelon comes from lycopene, an antioxidant, also found in tomatoes. Watermelon contains a pigment called beta-cryptoxanthin said to help your joints with inflammation. It is also full of electrolytes. One serving of watermelon contains more than 30% of the daily dosage of vitamin A, helping keep your eyes healthy. It is definitely not just sugar water and with all things, one or two servings will not be a miracle cure. However in a well balanced diet, watermelon brings much to the table.
You will need:
1/2 of a small watermelon
Sweet Cicely if available
1/2 cup raspberries
juice of a lime
agave syrup to taste
soda, vodka optional
Take a deep breath in and hold for a moment. Exhale while allowing your shoulders to drop and tension to release. Repeat bringing your attention into the present moment. ” In my kitchen, filled with care, I welcome, Earth, Water, Fire, Air“.
These can be created by cutting a knife into the middle of the watermelon at 45 degrees from perpendicular. Remove the knife, place the tip at the top of the cut, 90 degrees from the first cut and push. Repeat around the center of the watermelon until the knife is back at the beginning.
Voila! Watermelon halves with a fancy edge. Don’t fill too full and double check that they will stand by themselves. Tipping over will not be fun. You may need to cut a little of the bottom so they are stable. Just not so much that they leak. Best to give them to the kids outside actually.
Sweet Cicely is a natural sweetner, not easily found. It is the green frond in the first photo. If you have access, removing the stem and adding the leaves to the mix will probably alleviate the need for any additional sweetner but as mentioned, I have combined these ingredients in lots of different ways and they are all deliciously refreshing.
Turn on and pulse until everything is smooth.
Once smooth, strain the liquid through a sieve to separate the seeds.
Option one is to pour the mix into the watermelon husk.
Add several ice cubes and some fresh raspberries if any are left over.
Don’t overfill and use a straw, especially around children.
The serrated edges make for messy drinking. No need to add to the laundry.
Additionally it is possible to pour the mix back in the blender, adding ice cubes and creating a slushie. Your machine will need to be strong enough to chop ice.
This will create a lighter carbonated beverage with fewer calories if you are watching that sort of thing.
Choose a nice glass, add in some ice and pour in the fruit/soda mixture.
Garnish with fresh fruit. It is going to bubble so leave a little room.
It is easiest to mix the soda and fruit without the ice. So add ice last if mixing individual glasses and not premixing the fruit and sodafor a larger group of people.
Having the soda/fruit mixture sitting open for any length of time will allow the soda to go flat.
To the original mix add 1 – 2 ounces of rum per glass.
I used what was on hand which was a medium rum but white is definitely an option.
Again this can all be mixed together and served from a pitcher or combined per glass.
It all depends on the circumstances.
Raise a glass this summer to celebrate the underrated watermelon. There is no better time to go looking for sweet and juicy melons. Look for one that sounds hollow when thumped, feels heavy for its size when lifted and has a creamy yellow spot where it has been on the ground. Yellow is another indication of ripeness.
Three ways to quench your summer thirst.