I’ve been meaning to make watermelon agua fresca all summer, and now that I’ve made it, I’m kicking myself for not doing it sooner. I usually make something at least a few times before posting about it, but this was just too good, and summer is running out, so I’m posting right away. If you haven’t already been making aguas frescas this summer, go get a watermelon and try making one now!
2 lb seedless1 watermelon (cut from rind)
1–2 Tbsp lemon juice (1 small lemon)
handful of fresh mint leaves (remove stems)
10 ice cubes [update: frozen strawberries instead of ice is really good!]
Makes ~2 medium servings.
Blend on high until smooth, about 20–30 seconds. Serve and enjoy!
Many agua fresca recipes call for added sweetener, but if you get a good watermelon,2 I don’t think extra sweetener is necessary—this came out plenty sweet. Most recipes also call for straining after blending to remove any pulp. However, if you have a Vitamix, straining is not necessary. I didn’t detect any pulp. There was some froth on top, but you can minimize it with the bubble removal trick. If you pour slowly, hardly any froth will end up in the glass.
Blending the mint makes the drink color a bit darker and a less brilliant red. If you want a brighter red you could blend the watermelon and then pour it over some lightly muddled mint. (Adding a few strawberries to the blend would also make it more red, and would probably be delicious.)
The rind is edible, but I removed it for maximum watermelon flavor and sweetness.
If you don’t already have a favorite watermelon-cutting technique, I liked the video in this post, which shows a neat way to cut and store a watermelon.
1. I used a seedless watermelon. I was curious to see how watermelon seeds would blend, but the only seeded watermelons at the store were at least ~30 lb, which was more than I wanted. I know melon seeds are edible, but I’m not sure if they would get smooth enough to go well with this unstrained. ↑
2. How do you pick a good watermelon? A bit of luck helps. Russ Parsons shares a few tips in How to Pick a Peach:
- Look for a well-developed couche, which is the yellowish patch where the melon sat on the ground while on the vine. If it doesn’t have one, the melon may have been picked before it was ripe.
- Look for a slightly waxy skin. (I’m not actually sure what this means.)
- Knock on the center of the melon and it should have a nice hollow resonance. ↑