Suzi's Blog

Watermelon Lime Agua Fresca and Cocktail from Rick Bayless

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Mexican food maven, Rick Bayless, has a wonderful new book. Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles and Snacks offers sensational ideas from his famed Frontera Grill restaurant.

Here’s a beverage idea, a duo idea, that is not a margarita but does employ the ever-versatile tequila. It’s a sweet agua fresca that can be converted into a delightful cocktail.

The agua fresca is watermelon with lime juice and sugar. By itself, it’s very satisfying on a warm day. [Oh, come on, spring will come. Summer will follow. Have some faith. Wait a moment here, I have to close my window. So damn cold …]

And for the cocktail, some tequila and that wonderful liquor Aperol transform agua fresca into something with deeper meaning. Well, deeper flavor.

 

Watermelon Lime Agua Fresca

Yield: 4 cups

Ingredients:

  • A 3-pound chunk of ripe, seedless watermelon
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Water

Preparation:

Cut the rind off the watermelon, then cut the fruit into rough 1-inch chunks. You need about a generous 4 cups [1 ½ pounds] cleaned cubes.

Put the cubes into a blender — or better a Vitamix — then add the lime juice and the sugar. Blend until smooth.

Now, look at the measure scale on the side of your blender and add enough water to make 4 cups. Blend to mix. Strain to remove any seeds [that’s the good part about using a Vitamix: typically no seeds survive and you get all the nutrients].

Pour into a storage container, cover and refrigerate. This agua fresca is best used the day it is made.

Watermelon Lime Cocktail

Yield: 8 cocktails

Ingredients:

  • One batch of watermelon lime agua fresca [recipe above]
  • 1 ½ cups blue agave blanco tequila
  • ¾ cup Aperol
  • 8 cups ice cubes

Preparation:

In a large pitcher, combine the tequila, Aperol and watermelon lime agua fresca. Stir to combine, then cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

When ready to serve, pour about ¾ cup of the cocktail mixture into each of eight 12-ounce highball glasses. Add about a cup of ice to each one and serve immediately.

Source: Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles, and Snacks by Rick Bayless

 

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