July 17, 2010

WATERMELON PUNCH WITH FRESH LIME AND CRUSHED MINT


Every time I go for Mexican food, I hope to find watermelon aqua fresca. There is something so perfectly refreshing about this drink for me. Making watermelon aqua fresca at home inspired me to concoct my own summer punch. I could slurp this sweet, tangy, minty punch all day long. If you are are looking for something a little stronger, add a some rum and you have a damned good cocktail.

When I was working on this punch recipe, P and I found ourselves tasting rummy cocktails at ten am - it felt totally decadent and made me think..... this would be a tasty drink to sip at brunch.

Note: Try to make your simple syrup, puree the watermelon, and chill both a few hours before you want to serve the punch. If time doesn't allow for this chilling time, just add plenty of ice and you are good to go.

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 cups watermelon puree ( approximately 1 medium watermelon)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (approximately 4-5 juicy limes)
  • mint leaves, 1/3 cup loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • boozy option: light rum

Make a simple syrup. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a sauce pan. Heat until sugar has dissolved. Let cool.  The simple syrup you don't use for this recipe can be refrigerated and and  put to other uses in cocktails or to sweeten your iced coffee or tea.

Cut off watermelon rind.



Remove seeds if there are any.

Place approximately 2 cups of watermelon flesh into your blender. Using your fingers or a spoon, push down the watermelon chunks until they release a bunch of juice (this released liquid will help make the blending easier). Blend thoroughly. Do another batch until you have yielded 4 cups of pureed watermelon. You could strain the watermelon pulp at this point, but I really prefer the thicker texture of the pulp left in. Chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

Juice limes.



Coarsely chop mint leaves. Crush mint with 2 teaspoons of sugar. Use a mortar and pestle if you have one, otherwise use a wooden spoon in a bowl to pulverize the mint and sugar. When you are done, you will have a well-integrated mint/sugar paste. Add paste to the lime juice.


Mix pureed watermelon and lime juice (with the sugary mint). Add 2-3 tablespoons simple syrup. How much simple syrup you use will depend on the natural sugar content of your watermelon and your own personal preference for sweetness.

Served chilled. Always give the punch a stir before serving to integrate the ingredients.

If you want to transform this punch into a cocktail, I suggest adding 2 tablespoons rum to every cup of punch.

35 comments:

  1. Love that gorgeous hot pink colour! I feel refreshed just looking at it. :)
    (Also, I totally covet your mortar and pestle. It's drool-worthy.)

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  2. Now that is an absolute perfect summer drink! Great photos!!!

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  3. so beautiful! I can almost taste it just from looking at your photos,
    and I agree this would make terrific brunch cocktail! I have some watermelons, so I will be trying this tomorrow. :)

    I love your wooden mortar and pestle!

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  4. That looks GOOD. Watermelon is the ultimate summer cool-down for me - I hadn't thought of making a drink out of it.

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  5. oh my word! this is so beautiful. it's 95 in la right now that i seriously want to bathe myself in this stuff.

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  6. AnonymousJuly 17, 2010

    That looks outrageously good! I have to buy a watermelon now.

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  7. Downright gorgeous!!!! I just picked up a few watermelon and have quite the abundance of fresh mint in the garden. Im going to have to make this :)

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  8. Great pictures; my mouth is watering, everything looks so fresh!

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  9. oh, this looks so refreshing! like a mojito, but with watermelon!

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  10. AnonymousJuly 21, 2010

    I also make agua fresca with the oh-so-fragrant muskmelons that appear at our midwestern farmers markets right about now. Fantastic, and also takes well to white rum.

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  11. AnonymousJuly 22, 2010

    that look so good yum yum

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  12. Looks great - but discrepancy between ingredients list and directions has me concerned. How much watermelon - two or four cups? How much sugar to mix with mint - two teaspoons, or two tablespoons? Thanks.

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  13. Thanks, this was beautiful and delicious! The mint sugar really added. It was gorgeous in grandma's pink glasses and pitcher

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  14. Everyone, thank you for all the wonderful comments! They are so appreciated.

    Steph, you are spot on - it really is a watermelon mojito.

    And Norma I can totally imagine that the punch was beautiful in your grandma's pink glasses and pitcher. That image made me smile!

    Marsha, thanks SO much for catching the discrepancies! I recommend blending the watermelon flesh in batched of two cups at a time (4 cups is too much for my blender). But the recipe does need 4 cups of watermelon puree all together. After reading your comment, I tried to make this clearer in my post. Also, about the sugar.... I would suggest starting with 2 "teaspoons" (oops!) and add more if your watermelon doesn't have a high sugar content. Each melon is so different, feel free to play with the sugar amounts.

    Cheers!
    -E

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  15. I wound up making it with the four cups of watermelon, adding lime juice to taste and blending in a few mint leaves - my watermelon was so sweet I didn't need any sugar at all. It was ambrosial - I didn't even bother with the rum (although I reserve the right to do so next time I make it!). Thanks for the inspiration.

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  16. Yeah Marsha! I'm so glad you liked the punch and that you played around with the flavors...somehow watermelon, lime, and mint really do seem made for each other!

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  17. This looks amazing. I love your jug. :)

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  18. We made these and they were sooo tasty. They made the house smell delightful and were so refeshing. Thanks!

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  19. Its really a lovely post. Keep it up.

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  20. beautiful photos- stumbled upon your blog via The Kitchn- wishing you all the best for Istanbul- it's one of my fave cities in the world. x shayma

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  21. AnonymousJuly 28, 2011

    After an endless row of rainy July days here in Denmark, I've just served myself a big glass of vibrant watermelon punch and made a toast to the lead-grey evening sky - and it already feels much more summer-like! "TAK" for an inspiring blog, F

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  22. Just wondering how much does this make?? it doesnt say how many glasses it makes

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  23. Hi there, the recipe should make about five cups of punch. I hope you enjoy the recipe.
    - erin

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  24. Beautiful photographs. I can't wait to try this next summer. Thanks for sharing

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  25. Just beautiful! And just what I was looking for. Am serving that over the weekend for our elementary school garden day that I cater--thanks so much!

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    1. Thanks Carolyn, I hope you enjoy!

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  26. We make a "salad" with watermelon, mint and lime juice that the kids love, this recipe is right up our alley! Can't wait to try it! Thank you!

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    1. Yum! That is my kind of salad.

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  27. This punch came out fantastic! The kids loved the virgin version and the adults loved the spiked version. I give this recipe five stars!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Sandra! You made my day.

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  28. i love watermelon juice Especially in this hot weather

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So good to hear from you... I appreciate each and every note you leave for me!

Thanks,
E

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