Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Watermelon & Mint Cooler

Watermelon & Mint Cooler

I remember the first time I had a deliciously refreshing, simple fruit drink. I mean not the kind you get at a swanky smoothy shop here in the states, or the kind you pop open from a can or a bottle. I mean, the real thing, fresh, satisfying, unperserved. I was barely into my twenties, and was traveling in the backpacker town of Montezuma, Costa Rica.  In The Bakery Cafe, with warm, pull apart fresh bread; a sun drenched patio, speckled with shade of the coastal canopy, where the calls of the ornery bluejays drifted through the dense humid air, and the grunting howler monkeys sneered at you from not so afar,  I had my first batido de sandia con agua. After that, it was all over. Every day I would cool myself down with a refreshing shake, wether it be tamarindo, maracuyá, guayabana, piña or melon, con agua or leche.  They were the perfect combination of sweetness, creaminess and coolness. 

My love affair of the perfect refreshing cooler, didn't stop there. When I lived in Colombia, you couldn't tear me away from my daily craving of jugos naturales, made from a number of exotic fruits, in which I can't remember the names, but can't forget the flavors. My obsession however was, maracuyá, what we call passionfruit in English. The perfect tartness, that keeps you coming back again and again. And as a staple in nearly every home in Colombia is a blender, I quickly learned how to make my own cold, iced, yellow perfection. 

I got so excited the day I was in the local supermarket and saw that they had passionfruit, although different than the large yellow globes of the variety you would find in Colombia, I figured the taste had to be close. I loaded up a bag of the small little, wrinkly perfect purple, spheres, my mouth watering at the thought of just scraping out those funny seeds, and whirring them up with some ice in the blender. You wouldn't believe my disbelief and disappointment when I got to the register, and saw they weighed in at around $18 dollars. I hadn't noticed the $1.99/each price tag, and was thinking per/pound. So long story short…here in Maine I stick to fruits which are a little less exotic. 

So here is my recipe for a satisfying, refreshing drink, which really hits the spot on a hot summers day. It also makes a great cocktail, if you are looking for something more for the evening/festive variety. I also just want to throw a little gratitude for the inspiration from my friends at the best food truck in Maine El Corazón . If you are local, check these guys out for delicious authentic Mexican food. 


Makes about 30 oz/3.5 cups

  • 1/2 Watermelon
  • 1 Generous handful of fresh mint.
(I like to use a sweeter mint like spearmint/peppermint)
  • 2 Limes 
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 5-8 Ice Cubes

Step 1: 

Scoop out the fruit of the watermelon into the blender, allowing the juice to drip in. Add in the 1/4 cup water. Blend on high until fruit is smooth. You may need to use a spoon to push the fruit toward the blades. Of course be sure the blender is off when doing so. 

Step 2: 

Squeeze the limes into the blender. I use a hand-help lemon squeezer, into the blender. 
Add in the washed mint leaves. Add in ice cubes. Blend on high until all ice cubes have been crushed. Taste. Adjust if needed. 

I don't feel any sugar is needed, but this is a matter of taste and the sweetness of the melon. 

Step 3: 

Pour into glass, add ice if desired. Garnish with watermelon wedge, lime slice and mint leaves. 

Savor it, slurp it, or stash remainder in the fridge for later. 

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