Watermelon aguas frescas with lime, mint & basil syrup

Date luglio 21, 2010

Sunday. Sleepy, slow, lazy, hidden in the shadow of the closed window blinds to keep out the heat, walking barefoot to get the fresh sensation from the terracotta tiles,  a movie that goes in the background, a book, a fan… then it’s 6 o’clock  in the afternoon and we start dancing! Uncles are coming, each one with a story to tell or a joke to make, then aunts who comment on their recent lunches or on progresses made by their grandchildren, and later on children and grandchildren, especially cutie little Giada, the youngest, one year old yesterday, a concentration of cheerfulness and chubbiness, with a five teeth smile that makes you melt more than the midday sun!

During winter, there is always a tart, or a cake or a tray of muffins and a hot pot on the fire for them to enjoy on the couch in front of the fireplace, but now we need to change! Frozen desserts, ice cream, cheesecake and cool drinks to give a bit of relief and enhance the slight breeze that always blows at me around six o’clock in the afternoon. This year, along with iced tea and orange juice, there’s a new entry, aguas frescas, dad’s new passion, who considers this drink our non-alcoholic version of mojito!

I heard for the first time of aguas frescas from Zested, one of my lately favourite blogs for freshness and originality. Aguas frescas are a mixture of fruit, cereals, seeds, water and sugar mixed together and sieved to create a refreshing drink typical of Mexico and Central America. Who’s more expert than them in refreshing drinks? I then gave full credit to the proceedings and .. Well, judge you the results!

Ingredients for lime, mint and basil syrup:

  • water, 500 ml
  • sugar, 4 tablespoons (100 gr)
  • mint, 2 sprigs
  • basil 5 leaves
  • lime, 1 juice and peel

Put in a saucepan sugar, mint, basil, lime juice and lime zest, cover with about 500 ml of water and then bring to the boil and let it boil until it is reduced by half (about 20 min on high heat). Let it cool completely and then strain it.

Ingredients to make aguas frescas:

  • watermelon
  • cold water (still or sparkling, as you prefer)
  • lime, mint and basil syrup
  • ice cubes to serve

Blend watermelon in a mixer and strain the puree to remove seeds. Combine in a jug watermelon juice, cold water to taste, syrup and ice cubes. Garnish with some mint leaves or lime slices and serve.

A few tips: if you have patience and want to remove manually all the seeds, you can avoid straining the watermelon puree, leaving more substance to drink. You can replace watermelon with any fruit you like, I tried it with peaches and it was just as good! I would suggest adding cucumber, or maybe a few ice cubes made with cucumber juice as I saw a few nights ago on tv.. genious! I think would be  fantastic and refreshing!

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16 Responses to “Watermelon aguas frescas with lime, mint & basil syrup”

  1. sandra said:

    YUMMMMMMMM!!!
    thanks jul I love watermelon :)

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  2. Giulia said:

    ..adn reading your comment I thought: what about a piece of ginger thrown into the mixer along with watermelon?! :P

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  3. liz said:

    mmm, aren’t they yum! I love the idea of peaches too – they’re getting so ripe here now.

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  4. Frank said:

    I also just recently discovered aguas frescas. They’re wonderful!

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  5. The Blue-Eyed Bakers said:

    Oh yes please! We have pounds of watermelon and this looks like just the thing to cool us down during this never ending heat wave!

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  6. Tiffany said:

    This sounds awesome!

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  7. Sarah, Maison Cupcake said:

    That looks so refreshing! I want some in my garden this afternoon!

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  8. Best of the Blogs said:

    [...] Watermelon Aqua Frescas with Lime-Herb Syrup – Juls’ Kitchen [...]

  9. Noelle said:

    I am going to try this recipe using frozen watermelon. I hope it comes out all right because this sounds yummy!

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  10. Juls @ Juls' Kitchen said:

    @ Liz: thank you again for the recipe! We love it now!
    @ Frank: aren’t they?!
    @ The Blue-Eyed Bakers: great, so now you must try it and tell me what you think about it!
    @ Tiffany: thank you!
    @ Sarah: oh, please! have one of this drink and I’ll pretend to be there as well!
    @ Noelle: I do hope so, tell me how it was!

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  11. Magic of Spice said:

    What great flavors…A must try:)

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  12. valentina said:

    I just love reading your posts. You have a lovely style and your words carry me with them, painting a lovely picture. I had not heard of aqua fresca and i do definitely love the idea of it. I am very very fond of any sort of drinks which are fruit based providing that the fruit is fresh.

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  13. Giulia said:

    @ Magic of Spice: hope you can try it soon!
    @ Valentina: you flatter me! thank you very much, I’m really happy because this is my aim, convey a feeling and an experience through mental images!

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  14. Angela@spinachtiger said:

    I found myself with left over watermelon juice and it’s so refreshing. (I made sorbet). I recommend going ahead with straining. The pulp is not a good texture. Now with this drink, I would turn it into a cocktail. I love your glass with the two straws. It’s so inviting.

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  15. Katie@Cozydelicious said:

    This looks wonderfully summery and tasty. I actually have some basil infused vodka… I might go ahead and spike this drink and make it a fancy cocktail!

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  16. Slow cooker chicken caesar wraps | The Hungry Table said:

    [...] We had these for dinner tonight and then we washed them down with a variation of these. [...]

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