When I awoke this morning, I remembered the left-over watermelon. This past weekend, we had only eaten half of the large watermelon I brought to a family gathering. I’d been reading about Aqua Fresca (fresh cold water), and knew this was my opportunity to experiment.
Aqua Fresca, a Mexican invention, combines fruits, vegetables, cereals or seeds with sugar and water to make a refreshing beverage. “How simple is this,” I thought. I removed the watermelon rind and cut the bright red melon into chunks. The fragrance brought back childhood memories of picnics where I could never get too much of this summer treat. I picked lavender sprigs and mint leaves in my garden to add to the Aqua Fresca. (I just love saying “Aqua Fresca! ”) Spotting some limes in my fruit bowl, I found another ingredient. Slicing it up, I knew the color would be a good contrast. I found a large glass vase for a pitcher. In went the watermelon, lime slices, lavender and mint and I added about a cup of water. I decided to skip the sugar, besides I could always add it later if necessary. After covering the pitcher with plastic wrap, I put my soon-to-be Aqua Fresca into the refrigerator to chill for several hours.
Mid afternoon had arrived with intense sun and temperatures in the low 80’s. It was time to taste my Watermelon Aqua Fresca. I filled a glass with ice cubes and poured the beverage through a strainer. The beverage was pale pink and smelled like watermelon. I added a lavender sprig as a garnish and took a sip. The taste was subtle and light. The drink was sweet enough without adding sugar.
I took my glass full of Watermelon Aqua Fresca outside, sat down on a lawn chair and spent the next hour reading and sipping this delicious, refreshing drink. Every now and then, I smiled when I remembered our family picnic. I’ve discovered the secret of Aqua Fresca. Next time, I am thinking of combining blueberries and cantaloupe with a bit of basil.