WATERMELON + CUCUMBER CAIPIRINHAS

It’s the middle of February and I know it my be a bit early to be thinking about summer. However, living in the south, I have no choice!

The temperature is rising and I am craving something refreshing (with a splash of alcohol). A summertime favorite comes to mind: caipirinhas!

I’ve never made one at home before, so I think extra taste testing is necessary. Especially since I’ll be adding juicy watermelon and cool cucumber to this traditional Brazilian cocktail.

Sounds delish, right?. Hell, it’s Friday, let’s make a few.

In a few weeks time, when it’s pushing 80 degrees, I’ll look forward to enjoying one some of these on the front porch. 

watermelon + cucumber caipirinhas 

serves 2, 15 mins total time


INGREDIENTS 

2 ½ cups watermelon, seeds removed,

cut into chunks

½ large English cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks

2 limes, juiced

½ lime, cut into two wedges

1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar

1½ ounces white rum or Brazilian cachaça

club soda, splash or more

additional cucumber slices, garnish

lime rounds, garnish

METHOD 

Place a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl or pitcher.

In a blender, puree the watermelon and cucumber chunks.

Pour mixture through the sieve into the bowl. Use the back of a big spoon or rubber spatula to squeeze all the juice into the bowl.

In a small bowl, stir together lime juice and honey.

Pour the lime juice and honey mixture into the watermelon and cucumber juice, along with vodka. Adjust sweetness with more honey if desired.

To serve, fill two glasses with ice and top each with cocktail. Garnish with cucumber and lime slices.

WATERMELON KIWI GINGER MINT JUICE

Many people feel they can’t have fresh juices if they don’t have a proper juicer or go to a store with overpriced 16 ounce options. Well, I have a solution that I’ve been using for a few years.

It takes a bit of work, I’ll admit. But it is so worth it! It’s served often in Southeast Asia as a cool and naturally sweet refreshment and I enjoy a glass as much as I can, now that I have a simple method!

Watermelon juice couldn’t be easier to extract. You don’t need a fancy schmancy juicer, just a blender. Scoop the watermelon into the blender, blend for about thirty seconds, and ta da! You have made watermelon juice.

As you would expect, watermelon juice is good for you. It’s high in vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium. It’s about 92% water, so it’s plenty hydrating, too. Today I wanted more of a zing, so I added kiwi, lime juice, and ginger. This combination surely gives me a boost in the morning!

Now, to strain or not to strain? I personally strain, especially to catch those pesky white seeds, but also, it creates a smoother drink that’s a bit darker in color. Some prefer theirs juice straight from the blender. It’s not that much more effort!

But I’ve found the drink can be slightly lumpy and is definitely prone to more separation. But hey, add some ice cubes and a splash of white rum and who really cares?

Note: Yield will vary based on the size of your watermelon, but my 6.5-pound watermelon yielded about 5 cups of juice. You can double the recipe to store the extras. The juice will stay fresh in the fridge for about 2-3 days.

 

 

watermelon kiwi ginger mint juice

serves  2, 15 min total time


INGREDIENTS

 

1 seedless watermelon (2 1/3 - 3lbs), cut in chunks

2 kiwis, peeled

1 lime, juiced

1 ½ inch ginger, peeled

2 mint leaves

 

METHOD

 

Place some watermelon chunks in a blender or food processor. After a few pulses, the watermelon should be liquefied.

Place a large cup or jar under a mesh colander. Slowly pour in the watermelon juice. As the pulp accumulates, press down with the back of a spoon to push as my much as possible through the mesh. Discard any excess pulp in the colander. Repeat this process with all the watermelon chunks. Place all of the juice into a container to store it in.

Add the kiwi pieces to the blender, as well as the ginger and mint leaves. Pour in a few cups of watermelon juice. Blend for a few minutes, until there are no large chunks of kiwi.

Using the cup and colander again, strain the pulp from the kiwi and ginger. Force as much as you can with the back of the spoon. Discard any excess pulp, seeds, and ginger pieces. Combine and mix the juices thoroughly. Refrigerate before serving.