Watermelon Agua Fresca

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From DJ Foodie, modified for ingredients on hand.

Ingredients:

  • One large seedless watermelon, or enough watermelon for approximately one gallon of filtered juice (see below)
  • Water
  • 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

Tools:

  • Blender
  • Plenty of bowls and cambros and ladles
  • Large fine sieve
  • Cup for tasting


Method:

  1. Prepare filtered watermelon juice:
    1. Cut watermelon in half, widthwise.
    2. Put cut side down on a cutting board, in a baking sheet to catch the juices.
    3. 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.
    4. Once you just have watermelon flesh, slice it into sticks with a cross hatch pattern.
    5. Pulse a small number of watermelon sticks in blender to create juice.
    6. Fill rest of blender with watermelon sticks and pulse until you have juice and pulp.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
  2. Mix Agua Fresca:
    1. In a large mixing vessel (a big pot or bowl), pour all the watermelon juice. (4 parts)
    2. 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).
    3. If you have extra juice, especially if the watermelon taste/smell/sweetness isn't intense enough, add the extra juice (2 1/2 cups)
    4. Add the citrus juice in smaller portions until the agua fresca tastes right (around 1/2 cup)
    5. Add the simple syrup in small portions until the agua fresca tastes right (around 1 cup)
    6. 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)
  3. Chill and serve, or serve with ice!