Any time we have people over, there are two questions I ask as soon as they walk in the door:
- Can I get you something to eat?
- Can I get you something to drink?
Usually, the answer to the "something to eat" question is a "no, thanks, we'll just munch on whatever's you've got out. But, the answer to the "something to drink" question is a bit trickier. Knowing what beverages to offer and have available takes just as much forethought as what to serve for the meal.
For our most recent get-together, I knew that only one of our guests would be drinking beer, so I made sure to have some bottles cold for him. The rest of us though, needed something non-alcoholic yet still delicious.
The answer was staring me in the face.
Watermelon. See, my mom was one of our guests, and watermelon is her favorite food. Seriously, and when I say favorite, I mean loves it more than Monica kind of favorite. She likes fresh watermelon, frozen watermelon, watermelon Italian ice... and just look how happy a forkful of watermelon makes her!
So the beverage of the evening? Watermelon lemonade. I just winged (wung?) it and put together a delicious and refreshing beverage that would be amazing with a touch of liquor (vodka perhaps) for a different kind of gathering, and definitely delicious made with Splenda or Stevia instead of sugar.
- 1 cup extra-fine sugar
- 3 cups cubed watermelon
- juice of 10 lemons (or about 1 cup)
- 1 cup boiling water
- about 32 ounces water
- Lemon slices and watermelon slices for garnish
Mix the boiling water and sugar together in a large pitcher or serving jug. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Puree the watermelon in a blender or using a stick blender and pour it through a strainer into the same pitcher. Juice the lemons and pour the juice through a strainer to avoid getting any seeds into your lemonade. Stir well. Add the remaining water and stir again. Chill and serve over ice with a small watermelon slice for garnish.
We went through this entire jug (ok, it was only 3/4 full) in one evening, and it was the talk of the night! Come to think of it... there's a bit leftover that's still in the fridge.
If you need me, I'll be drinking lemonade.
P.S. Fun watermelon fact: if you put a few pieces of watermelon in a large Nalgene-type bottle of water in the fridge overnight, the watermelon will dissolve almost completely into the water and leave you with a delicious watermelon beverage in the morning!