This easy Latin drink of sweetened crushed fruit mixed with sparkling water is a nice alternative to soft drinks.
2 honeydew melons, about 12 lb. total
Juice of 4 lemons
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup crushed fresh mint leaves
3 cups sparkling water, chilled
3 lemons, thinly sliced
Ice cubes as needed
10 to 12 fresh mint sprigs for garnish
Cut the honeydew melons in half and remove and discard the seeds. Using a metal spoon, scoop out the flesh into a large bowl. Working in batches, puree the honeydew melon in a blender or food processor. As each batch is finished, transfer it to another large bowl. Add the lemon juice, sugar and mint leaves to the puree and stir to combine until the sugar is dissolved. Cover and set aside at room temperature for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours to blend the flavors.
When ready to serve, pour the melon mixture through a medium-mesh sieve into a large pitcher or jar. Add the sparkling water, lemon slices and ice and stir well. Pour or ladle into glasses and garnish each glass with a mint sprig. Serves 10 to 12.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Outdoor Entertaining, Edited by Chuck Williams (Free Press, 2005).