An agua fresca is a Spanish beverage made with fresh juice, sugar syrup and a combination of natural flavour ingredients like nuts, seeds, herbs or cereal. This watermelon agua fresca with its ruby red tones, tangy lime and sweet star anise flavouring is not only delicious but stunning to look at. Add tequila to the mix and let the party begin!
It has barely been over a year since we moved back into our home after a long renovation and it seems like yesterday when I announced the first set of workshops. Last Friday I wrapped up my twelfth and last workshop of the year. Nine months passed in the blink of an eye. The last workshop was called White Hot Summer Vibes and aptly enough, Sydney soared to a scorching 42 degrees, the hottest November Spring day in 79 years! Yikes!
With Bohemian vibes for our styling sessions and ice as our main muse, we managed to stay reasonably cool under the canopy of the Flame tree in my backyard, dreamcatchers and wind chimes swaying gently as we sipped on cool Pistachio milk and Almond Chai. Amidst popsicles, watermelon bowls and cooling salads, one of the standouts of the day was this simple but flavour packed Watermelon Agua Fresca I had prepared. Without the alcohol of course! That is specially reserved for our book club night.
I love the novelty of watermelon juice. Same delicious flavour. Zero hard work. No messy nibbling at pie shaped watermelon wedges while trying to look respectable. No dreading seeds (oh I miss those seed spitting contests from when we were little! whatever happened to us as adults?). Just pure liquid ruby that hydrates you with every sip while you have illusions of swaying on a hammock next to a quaint beach shack in Copacabana. The lime and anise is my secret flavour hit for this agua fresca. It honestly takes this perfectly ordinary juice to an altogether new level. Go on! Make a jug! And dream of balmy seas and coconut bikinis!
WATERMELON AGUA FRESCA
- 800 g watermelon, cut
- 500 ml cold water
- juice of 5 limes
- 1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 star anise pods
- 1 cup ice
- 1/2 cup tequila, optional
- Place watermelon, water, lime juice, half of the mint leaves, salt, maple syrup and one anise pod in the jug of a blender with half of the ice. Process until smooth and blended (you might have to process in batches as this is a large quantity. I like to divide all my ingredients equally in two bowls and process each bowl separately.)
- Strain the juice into a jug using a nut milk bag or a fine sieve.
- Add the remaining star anise pods, mint leaves, ice and tequila (if using) to the juice and stir to mix well. Serve right away or chill in the fridge until ready to serve.