8.16.13 Cantaloupe, Honey, and Mint Agua Fresca
Guys, it’s absolutely beautiful outside (as if you don't already know)! I can hardly stand to be indoors, what with the near perfect temperatures and sunny skies. When the weather’s this great, there’s no better way to spend a lazy afternoon or evening than by lounging on the porch or patio, with a good book and refreshing beverage. And I have just the drink for you.
The idea for this delightful thirst quencher began during my last visit to the farmer’s market. As I approached a stand selling melons and apples, I noticed the cutest little cantaloupes I’ve ever seen. These little 2 lb ‘sugar cube’ cantaloupes were not only adorably small, but once I got them home and tasted one, well, I couldn’t stop eating it. It was so fantastic, once I’d had my fill of eating these minuscule melons, I decided to make them into a delicious drink to enjoy on the patio - a cantaloupe agua fresca.
Agua frescas are refreshing, non-alcoholic beverages that originated in Mexico and Central America. They’re pretty simple to make - usually just made with fruit, water, and a little sugar. And boy do they hit the spot on a hot summer day. In the past, I’ve made a lot of agua fresca with watermelon, but with these tasty little cantaloupes conveniently on hand, I decided to try something new. And I was not disappointed. A brilliantly hued ice cold beverage with just the right amount of sweetness; I probably could have drunk an entire pitcher of the stuff. So what are you waiting for? Go get some cantaloupe and start blending. Your porch is calling you.
Cantaloupe, Honey, and Mint Agua Fresca
makes 4 drinks
- ½ c water
- ½ c honey
- 4 c (about 2 lbs) cantaloupe cut into 1 inch pieces
- ¼ c fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
- 2 Tbsp fresh mint leaves
- ¼ tsp salt
- sparkling water or club soda
- mint sprigs for garnish
1. Combine the honey and water in a small saucepan and heat over medium low heat until water and honey are combined and just beginning to boil, about 2-4 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
2. Combine honey syrup, cantaloupe, lime juice, mint leaves, and salt in a blender and puree until smooth.
3. Using a fine meshed sieve or a piece of cheesecloth, strain the cantaloupe mixture into another container. Discard solids. You should end up with about 2 cups of liquid.
4. In each glass, pour ½ c of the cantaloupe juice over ice. Fill the rest of the glass with sparkling water or club soda and stir to mix. Alternately, you can mix equal parts cantaloupe juice and sparkling water in a pitcher with ice and pour into glasses as needed. Garnish with a mint sprig and enjoy!