It's a heat wave, in May no less. Seattle tied with Phoenix for the highest daily temperature in the nation this past week, a scorching 87 degrees F. No complaints here, it has been lovely, if just a bit unreal. The hot weather made it easy to choose a few drink recipes from Amy's Cooking Adventures for my Secret Recipe Club post this month. I picked the coolest, most refreshing beverage I could find, Amy's Cucumber-Melon Refresher. Actually I tried several other drinks, but this was the first and most in-season with mint and strawberries. As a bacon and popcorn fan I was tempted to make multiple batches of her Bacon Caramel Corn with Dark Chocolate, but we're on a renewed campaign to eat healthier. Healthier probably shouldn't include bacon, brown sugar, light syrup and dark chocolate but damn! that sounded tasty. Sigh, moving on...
Amy's base recipe works best with a really sweet, flavorful watermelon. My mini melon was pretty cute, quite colorful and waaaay too bland. Lime juice and fresh strawberries came to the rescue, adding a sweet/tart note that balanced the more assertive cucumber flavor. The watermelon played a minor role, adding volume, color and just a hint of flavor. We tried a glass straight up, then another one with rum and finally a third with a shot of tequila. I enjoyed the kid's version, served over ice, but would never turn down the high test adult version with alcohol. Mmmmm, delicious. Thanks, Amy.
Note: you will enjoy cruising through Amy's blog, checking out her recipes and admiring her sense of adventure and humor. For example,
"I love taking risks in the kitchen. One thing my wonderful husband has taught me is that cooking experiments are always welcome, as long as McDonald’s or Little Caesars is an option in the event of a cooking disaster. “
|Photo: Cucumber Melon Refresher basic ingredients - in generous measure|
|Photo: Ready to blend, no liquid needed|
|Photo: Frothy mixture of fruit and vegetable|
|Photo: Straining the pulp is a recommended step|
Cucumber Melon Refresher
adapted from Amy's Cooking Adventures (link)
Makes 1 serving
1 cup seedless watermelon, cut in chunks
1/2 cup strawberries, cleaned & hulled (optional)
splash of lime juice (optional)
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled & seeded
1 sprig mint, 6-8 large leaves
1/2 cup Sprite, or other lemon-lime soda
1 oz white rum or tequila (optional)
- Place the watermelon, strawberries (optional) cucumber and mint into a blender. Blend until smooth.
- Use a fine-mesh sieve and strain the mixture into a bowl, discarding the pulp.
- Pour the strained juice into a glass. Stir in the Sprite and lime juice (optional). Add liquor and ice, if desired.
- Garnish with a slice of cucumber, a chunk of watermelon, a sprig of mint and/or a fat, ripe strawberry. Enjoy!