Watermelon Agua Fresca
From DJ Foodie, modified for ingredients on hand.
- One large seedless watermelon, or enough watermelon for approximately one gallon of filtered juice (see below)
- 2 cups 1:1 simple syrup from cane sugar (about 9 oz by weight of granulated sugar and of water)
- 1 cup lime juice
- Salt to taste
- Plenty of bowls and cambros and ladles
- Large fine sieve
- Cup for tasting
- Prepare filtered watermelon juice:
- Cut watermelon in half, widthwise.
- Put cut side down on a cutting board, in a baking sheet to catch the juices.
- Cut off the rind, starting with the top and working your way down the sides. It's okay to do it in multiple slices. The rind goes out in the compost.
- Once you just have watermelon flesh, slice it into sticks with a cross hatch pattern.
- Pulse a small number of watermelon sticks in blender to create juice.
- Fill rest of blender with watermelon sticks and pulse until you have juice and pulp.
- Pour juice and pulp through large fine sieve into bowl. Work the inside of the sieve with a spoon edge to get as much juice out as possible. Work each batch of pulp until what's coming out of the sieve is drips instead of a steady stream. Put leftover pulp in a bowl to sit and drain a little before disposing. If you are being extra waste-minded, spoon the juice out from the pulp bowl after it's sat for a bit.
- Blend and filter juice in batches until you have about a gallon. This may take one or two watermelons. If you have a little bit more or less, just tweak the amounts of the other ingredients.
- Mix Agua Fresca:
- In a large mixing vessel (a big pot or bowl), pour all the watermelon juice. (4 parts)
- Add the water (3 parts) and mix. Start tasting your mix (pro tip: use two-spoon or ladle-and-cup method to avoid contaminating the large amount of mix).
- If you have extra juice, especially if the watermelon taste/smell/sweetness isn't intense enough, add the extra juice (2 1/2 cups)
- Add the citrus juice in smaller portions until the agua fresca tastes right (around 1/2 cup)
- Add the simple syrup in small portions until the agua fresca tastes right (around 1 cup)
- When the balance seems right and especially if the tastes just don't seem strong enough, add a little salt, to taste (about 1 tsp)
- Chill and serve, or serve with ice!