July 2, 2011 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo
An icy cold beer is pretty perfect with a hot off the grill burger. On sunny summer days though, I’ve found a cooling refresher that doesn’t leave me feeling sleepy as the day progresses is sometimes a better pairing. We always seem to have watermelon in the fridge this time of year since it’s the kids’ favorite fruit. This July 4th, and the rest of the summer in fact, I plan to turn it into some fun mocktails the whole family can enjoy.
Getting started is easy—all you need is a blender or food processor. Cut the watermelon up into small chunks and give it a whirl to create a homemade watermelon puree. If you want a smoother juice, pour it through a sieve to strain out any of the fine bits. Pulp vs. pulp-free juice causes many a debate in my household. Once pureed, the watermelon juice will stay fresh for up to two days, stored in a covered container. I use old milk bottles from the farmers’ market, which make for pretty serving pitchers too.
On its own, the juice is sweet and refreshing over ice. This is one drink you can easily put your own spin on, though. Add a splash of seltzer for fizz, or squeeze in some lime juice to keep margarita cravings at bay. The kids love it mixed with fresh-squeezed lemon juice for a homemade version of pink lemonade. If you find you’ve made more than you can drink in two days, just freeze it in ice cube trays. One cube is enough to jazz up a plain ol’ glass of water to help you meet that daily requirement!