Watermelon: from agua fresca to margarita
We’ve been making watermelon smoothies forever. In fact, the very first recipe in the “Drinks” category was the watermelon smoothie. It was updated in September 2010 when my daughter, Sam, made a picture pretty pitcher of her version. It was after that September 2010 update when reader RQ posted the following comment:
She’s so right about the lime juice. It worked wonders.
But why, you might ask, add something sour if what one wants is a sweet drink? For some strange reason, adding a little sourness makes something sweet taste sweeter. It’s the contrast, I suppose. Instead of something that can be cloyingly sweet, one gets a nice balance that makes the flavors more appealing. It’s for the same reason that one adds a pinch or two of salt to cake batter. As RQ said, it’s all about the balance.
Yesterday, reeling from the heat and humidity, I made a pitcher of watermelon agua fresca (read more about agua fresca). Not with grenadine, however, but with simple syrup infused with lemon zest, and some lemon juice. After Speedy and I had consumed two glasses each of the watermelon agua fresca, there was still some left and I made that into watermelon margarita. Both recipes are below.
Recipe: Watermelon agua fresca
- 1/4 of a whole watermelon, diced and deseeded (if you can get the seedless variety, it saves a lot of work)
- 1/3 to 1/2 c. of lemon zest infused simple syrup
- juice of one lemon
- lots of ice cubes
- Put the diced watermelon into the blender.
- Pour in the simple syrup and lemon juice.
- Add about two cups of water.
- Process the mixture until smooth.
- Strain into a pitcher. Add ice. Taste. Add more water and simple syrup, as needed.
- Serve very cold.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 2 to 3
Recipe: Watermelon margarita
- 1 and 1/2 c. of watermelon agua fresca
- juice of half a lemon or lime
- 6 to 8 mint leaves
- tequila, as much or as little as you like
- salt, to serve
- Prepare the margarita glasses.
- Put some salt on a saucer.
- Wet the rim of the glasses with lemon or lime juice (note to self: take photos of this procedure for a “how to” post).
- Dip the rim of the glasses in the salt.
- Put all the ingredients in the blender. Add crushed ice, if you like.
- Pulse two to three times to blend and to break the mint leaves into smithereens.
- Pour into the prepared glasses and serve at once.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 2