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Watermelon Agua Fresca

Friday, June 26, 2009
Watermelon Agua Fresca

...aka take away summer.
Watermelon is one of those things that always gave me the idea of summer, more than coconut, ice cream and flip flops. Even when I was living in Cortina, where summer is short and definitely not very hot, when I found a big watermelon in the fridge, sometimes even already cleaned and cut in pieces, I could almost hear the sound of the sea, and I would instantly find myself lying on a beach with skin covered with oily Coppertone!

To tell you the truth, I have to spell out something here. It's my brother - who's always been very picky on these things - who would go to the trouble of cleaning, peeling and cutting in pieces large watermelons, so that he would find them in the fridge all nice and ready to bite. And this to his own disadvantage, because after he did all the work, his sisters, cousins and friends would rush eating it and would not leave much behind for him....
In San Francisco, ocean currents and constant fog leave very little space to imagination: I dare you to go to Ocean Beach in a swimming suit, even though - who knows why - my friends in Italy think that I live on the sea : )
And yet, even here during those days in July when the wind is so strong, a nice and ripe watermelon makes me think of a Mediterranean summer, a tanned skin and the sound of light waves.

Agua fresca is a nice and quick way to have summer always at hand, or rather in a glass....(yeah, try taking a watermelon with you all the time, it's not that easy...), even if calling it a recipe is a little too much.
I found out about this drink while walking around the Mission, it seems like it is very popular in Mexico and Central America. You can also make it with papaya, cantaloupe or strawberries. And it will last for few days in the refrigerator, unlike Kristian's watermelon, which always disappeared in a flash!

Watermelon Agua Fresca
for approximately 1 liter

ripe watermelon, peeled and cut in cubes 500-600 gr.
water 1/2 liter
sugar 1-2 tablespoons
lime juice 2-3 tablespoons
mint leaves for garnish

Mix watermelon, sugar and lime juice and blend them until you get a smooth juice. Add water and strain through a fine sieve. Let it cool in the fridge for at least one hour before serving. Pour over a glass filled with ice and garnish with some fresh mint sprigs.
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