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.
- 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.
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.