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+ servings

Watermelon and Mint Agua Fresca

yield: 6 cups, or 1 medium pitcher
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Special Equipment

  • a fine-mesh sieve
  • a blender

Ingredients

For the Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) water
  • 1 sprig of fresh mint

For the Watermelon and Mint Agua Fresca

  • 2 1/2 pounds (40 ounces) peeled and seeded fresh watermelon
  • 2 cups (16 fluid ounces) water
  • fresh juice from 2 medium lemons, strained
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup simple syrup (from recipe above — see baker's notes)
  • 5 to 10 sprigs of fresh mint
  • ice, for serving
  • blueberries, for garnish

Instructions

For the Simple Syrup

  • In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup water. Whisk the mixture until the sugar is dissolved, and bring the mixture to a boil. Let boil for 1 minute before removing from heat and transferring in a wire rack to cool completely. After about a minute on the wire rack, add a sprig of fresh mint and whisk gently into the mixture. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Once the mixture has cooled for around 30 minutes, use a fine-mesh sieve to strain the syrup into a small glass jar. Discard the mint. Refrigerate the syrup overnight to cool completely. The syrup keeps in a glass jar with a lid for about 2 weeks.

For the Watermelon and Mint Agua Fresca

  • Combine 2 1/2 pounds peeled and seeded fresh watermelon, 2 cups water, and the fresh juice from 2 medium lemons in the pitcher of a blender. Blend until very smooth.
  • Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain into a pitcher, discarding any leftover solids. Pour in 1/4 cup simple syrup and whisk. Taste the agua fresca for sweetness, and add more simple syrup in small increments until you find your ideal level of sweetness. Once you do, add 5 to 10 sprigs of fresh mint and ice, giving the mixture a hearty whisk. Serve with your choice of booze, garnishing with blueberries, any leftover watermelon, and ice. Serve immediately.