In celebration of Independence Day and my sister Ivana’s upcoming birthday, I’m sharing a recipe for her favorite summer drink: watermelon agua fresca. This one, however, is a spin on the classic and has a spicy citrus twist.
I have been experimenting with variations of the Mexican Arnold Palmer and found that substituting tea and lemonade with other fruit flavors can reap explosive benefits for the palate. And for those of you who enjoy that spicy-sweet combo, simply rim the glass with your favorite chile-salt for a firework of flavor in your mouth. Move over Arnold Palmer . . . there’s a new drink in town!
½ cup freshly squeezed key lime juice, from about 15 limes
8 cups seedless watermelon, from about half of a small watermelon
¾ cup agave nectar + 1 tablespoon for glass rims
6 cups water
1 tablespoon chile-lime salt
Working in batches, blend lime juice, watermelon, agave, and water on medium setting for 60 seconds.
Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large pitcher. You may need to agitate the mixture to let the concentrate through. Avoid pushing through the pulp to keep juice light in consistency. Compost pulp.
When ready to serve, rim glasses with agave syrup and then chile-lime salt. Divide mixture into glasses filled with plenty of ice.
Lola Wiarco Dweck
Lola is a Mexican-American recipe developer, writer, and cooking instructor who loves sharing her culture with the world. Growing up in California and spending summers in Mexico, Lola celebrates her family’s Mexican recipes and vibrant culture through Lola’s Cocina.