Monday, August 16, 2010

Watermelon Swim

Cold skin after a long lake swim has a solid position on my list of favorite things. It’s a reminder of the great swim you just had, it cools you down even after your skin is dry, and it usually means that the weather is nice enough to warrant a jump in the lake.

I've been doing a lot of lake swimming recently.

I had a little party last week and wanted to make a special, non-alcoholic drink. I chose a fresh, watermelon-mint cooler. It was really good, and certainly a crowd pleaser. Its lip-smacking corally-pink color and refreshing flavor made it festive enough to go head-to-head with a nice Sauvignon Blanc—in a wine drinking crowd.

The day after the party, while tidying up, I had a glass of the watermelon juice straight, without the mint syrup. I think it’s even better that way.

Watermelon juice is a bit like lake swimming. It’s refreshing even after you’re done, and its presence means that summer is here. I grew up lake swimming, and I'm pretty sure I will grow old that way. Maybe I'll add watermelon juice to that mix.
Watermelon Mint Cooler (or just plain watermelon juice)
1 mini seedless watermelon (about 16 cups of cubed flesh)
1 bunch of fresh mint
1 cup sugar
  • Peel and cube the watermelon, and puree it in batches in a blender. Thin it with about 2 cups water total to ease the blending.
  • Strain the puree with a fine sieve. Discard the flesh.
  • Chill and enjoy. Or:
  • In a small sauce pan, bring 1 cup water and the sugar to a boil until the sugar is dissolved. Add the mint and let it sit for 20 minutes or so until the leaves are wilted and the syrup has taken on the mint flavor.
  • Strain and discard the mint.
  • In a tall glass with ice, mix the watermelon juice with a tablespoon or two of the mint syrup.
Please note, watermelon juice is WAY better cold.  If you'd like to serve the juice shortly after you make it, refrigerate the watermelons.

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