Minty Cantaloupe Agua Fresca
To make this refreshing summer sipper that gets its kick from vodka, look for perfectly ripe cantaloupe, which will have a sweet smell. The stem end should also give slightly when pressed. If you can only find an underripe melon, place it in a paper bag on your countertop for 2 to 3 days.
- 4 cups (1 1/2 lb./750 g) seeded and cubed cantaloupe, plus 12 to 18 small melon balls for garnish
- 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) fresh lime juice
- 1/3 cup (3 oz./90 g) sugar
- 1/4 cup (1/4 oz./7 g) lightly packed fresh mint leaves, minced
- 1 1/4 cups (10 fl. oz./310 ml) vodka
- Crushed ice
- Mint sprigs for garnish
In a blender, combine the cubed cantaloupe, lime juice, sugar and mint leaves. Blend on high speed until the melon is completely liquefied and the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a pitcher and add 3 cups (24 fl. oz./750 ml) water and the vodka. Stir to mix well.
Fill individual glasses with ice and pour in the agua fresca. Garnish each glass with a skewer of 3 cantaloupe balls and a mint sprig and serve. Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Good Food to Share (Weldon Owen, 2010)