OK, you caught me. Being all food snobby again. Agua de Sandía may sound fancy but it’s just Spanish for watermelon juice. Well, watermelon water, to be perfectly literal, but we wouldn’t say that in English so I’m going with watermelon juice. It’s one of myriad aguas frescas you’ll find in Mexico – refreshing drinks made of fresh fruit. You have to be careful there, especially if buying them from a street vendor, because obviously there’s a lot of water in these and you know what they say: ‘Don’t drink the water’. The nice thing about making them at home is that you can enjoy them without the fear of Montezuma’s revenge!
We’ve been stuffing ourselves with watermelon all summer long – even tried a Spanish yellow-fleshed watermelon (pretty, but not as sweet as the red variety). But this latest specimen was past its prime and had gone a bit mushy by the time we cut it open. Ever loathe to waste food, I decided to make an agua fresca. This was my first attempt, so I sought the aid of a recipe online. I found this one from SF Gate and adapted it to the amount of watermelon I had. My version is listed below.
Agua de Sandía
(yields about 3/4 gallon or 5 pints)
What You Need:
1 small/medium watermelon, peeled and diced (or about 8 cups of diced flesh)
1 lime (cut off a couple of thin slices for garnish and then juice the rest)
1/2 cup sugar or simple syrup
4 cups cold water
What You Do:
1. Mix sugar and lime juice together to help the sugar break down (skip this if using simple syrup)
2. Blend all of the ingredients together. My blender wasn’t big enough so I just put everything in a large bowl and blitzed it with a hand blender.
3. Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.
The resulting juice, once chilled, was the very definition of refreshing. The lime added a little zing and the sugar helped counteract any sourness the lime might have brought. Having said that, you could easily make this with just watermelon and water and, assuming you had a sweet melon to begin with, it would be just fine.