Friday, June 19, 2009
Iced Watermelon Drinks - In the Pink for Foodie Friday and Pink Saturday
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...For years we thought that watermelon was a source of empty calories. Advances in food science and nutrition have proved that not to be the case. While the typical melon is 92% water we've learned that it also contains nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Best of all, it's low in calories and is no longer just a summer food; it's available year-round and, especially important to green kitchens, almost every part of it is edible. I decided it was time to revisit the watermelon. My culinary adventure worked its way through salads and salsas before moving on to sorbets and smoothies. While experimenting with a slushie, I started to think of summer drinks so cold they could quench the thirst of the steamiest summer day. I did a little searching and with the help of Eating Well Recipes I was able to find two recipes that could do just that. One contains alcohol, the other doesn't. Both are gorgeous to look at and when served icy cold they're potential rivals for iced tea and lemonade. Because melons vary in their sweetness, you'll want to adjust sugar content as you go along. The small amount of sugar in these recipes may not be sufficient to your taste. Add more if needed, but do it cautiously. While you can put more in, you can't take it out. I like both these recipes and will prepare them often this summer. I serve them with cubed frozen watermelon instead of ice. A truc to share; use pitchers of different shapes to store alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, so there'll be no surprises as the day wears on.
Watermelon Agua Fresca...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
8 cups cubed seeded watermelon (about 6 pounds with the rind), divided
1 cup water, divided
1/3 cup sugar, divided
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
4 cups club soda or seltzer water, well chilled
Lime slices or mint for garnish (optional)
1) Combine half the watermelon, half the water and half the sugar in a blender; puree. Pour through a coarse strainer into a large container. Repeat with the remaining watermelon, water and sugar. Stir in lime juice. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 4 hours.
2) To serve, stir in club soda (or seltzer) and garnish with lime. Yield: 10 cups.
Cook's Note: Watermelon base may be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Watermelon Gin Fizz...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
5 cups diced watermelon, divided
6 ounces gin, divided
8 tablespoons lime juice, divided
1-1/3 cups ginger ale, divided
Lime wedges or mint for garnish
1) Freeze 1 cup watermelon for garnish. Puree the remaining 4 cups watermelon. Strain; divide the juice among 4 ice-filled glasses.
2) Top each with 1 1/2 ounces gin, 2 tablespoons lime juice and 1/3 cup ginger ale. Garnish with the frozen watermelon and mint or lime wedges. Yield: 4 servings.
I'm sending this recipe to Michael at Designs By Gollum for Foodie Friday, the event she sponsors.
I'm also sending it to Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for her Pink Saturday Event.