Don’t you just love knowing that a 3-day weekend is upon us? It’s pretty much the best. It couldn’t have come at a better time, since Mark and I have a lot of life to catch up on after our San Francisco vacation! (My trip review is coming soon!) This weekend also marks the official kick-off to open pools, summer barbecues, and outdoor farmer’s markets! Time to celebrate! 🙂
Today, I have an easy, 5-ingredient, refreshing recipe for you as we head into Memorial Day weekend! This is something that will cool you and your friends off during your weekend cookouts and picnics. Now, I’m not sure what the weather is like where you live, but here in Pittsburgh, it’s supposed to hit 90 degrees this weekend! (Which is pretty crazy, since it’s not even June yet!) To beat the heat, I created a Sparkling Watermelon Mint Agua Fresca that will be the perfect thirst-quencher for the hot summer days ahead! If you’re not familiar with the term “agua fresca,” it simply means “fresh water” in Spanish. Basically, it’s a blend of fruit and water to create a light and healthy beverage. My version of an agua fresca uses juicy watermelon, fresh mint and lime juice, sparkling water, and coconut water, which contains natural electrolytes to keep you hydrated. This non-alcoholic beverage is not only tasty, but it’s healthy, too, and contains no added sugars or sweeteners!Before I get to the recipe, let me just say how much I’m loving the sparkling water trend right now! I’m seeing LaCroix EVERYWHERE in zillions of different flavors and I can’t help but want to try them all! So far, my favorites are Cherry Lime, regular Lime, and Passion Fruit. In this recipe, I tried the Cherry Lime flavor and loved it! I also just found a new brand popping up lately, called Spindrift. Trader Joe’s just started carrying it in several flavors. I’ve only tried the Raspberry so far, and it’s awesome! It’s naturally sweetened with fruit, and it’s really not that sweet at all. It’s very similar to LaCroix, only it has a tint to it from the natural fruit added. I made my agua fresca a second time and tried the Raspberry Spindrift and I actually slightly preferred it over the LaCroix. But, to each his own! Use what you want!I should probably mention that I don’t replace regular filtered water with sparkling water – I still aim for at least eight glasses of regular water a day, but the sparkling water is a nice treat and healthy substitute for soda or juice. I especially love it when the weather gets warm!
Anyway, now that I’m on the sparkling water bandwagon, I often have my fridge stocked with cans of varying flavors. I knew I wanted to use them in a drink recipe, so I started playing around with sparkling water and watermelon combinations. What really kicked up the flavor was the addition of fresh mint, lime juice, and…drumroll please…coconut water!My coconut haters out there are probably cringing right now. BUT, the good news is that the coconut water doesn’t make this drink taste like coconut. It just adds a hint of natural sweetness to the agua fresca. PLUS, coconut water is great to rehydrate with after you’ve been out in the sun or exercising. You can drink it plain, but I like it best as a mixer in this agua fresca. (I use the VitaCoco coconut water.) If I still haven’t convinced you, just leave it out, or add a drop of stevia or some honey, if you want your drink a little sweeter.
Okay, I’ll get off my tangent about my current beverage obsessions and show you how to whip up a nice, cool batch of Sparkling Watermelon Mint Agua Fresca!
Pull out your blender and chop up your watermelon to start with. Add a heaping cup of watermelon to the blender, along with the juice of 1 lime, chopped fresh mint, and coconut water.Blend for about 10 seconds, or until mixture is smooth and the mint is finely minced into the mixture. Set this aside.Next, grab a fine sieve strainer and a small pitcher or 2-cup measure with a spout. Pour the watermelon mixture through the strainer and use a spoon or your hands to press the pulp, so you get every last drop of moisture out. It’s okay if little bits of mint make it through the strainer, since you want that flavor to come through!Pour a can of sparkling water evenly between two drinking glasses. Then, divide the strained watermelon juice evenly between the two glasses of sparkling water. (These are my favorite Dollar Store-find mason jar glasses and I try to use them with every chance I get!) Give each one a quick stir and slice up some lime to use as garnish. I added a handful of ice to each glass, too, so they were nice and cold. I love the flavor of these drinks! You can taste the mint, but it doesn’t overpower the watermelon, and the coconut water adds a subtle sweetness, while the bubbly sparkling water gives it a little kick.Sip and savor these healthy, thirst-quenching Sparkling Watermelon Mint Agua Frescas with your friends and family as you sit by the pool, soak up the sun, and eat all the good things coming off of the grill! Have an amazing Memorial Day Weekend!
- 1 cup chopped ripe watermelon
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- ½ cup coconut water (I used VitaCoco brand)
- 1- 12 ounce can of unsweetened sparkling water, divided
- handful of ice cubes (optional)
- lime slices for garnish (optional)
- In a blender, add the watermelon, lime juice, mint, and coconut water. Blend until smooth.
- Strain the watermelon mixture from your blender over a bowl or 2-cup measure with a spout. Use a spoon to press out the pulp and get as much juice out as possible. Discard pulp and set watermelon liquid aside.
- Pour a can of sparkling water evenly between two glasses.
- Distribute the watermelon mixture evenly between the glasses of sparkling water and stir each to combine.
- Add ice and garnish with lime slices. Enjoy!
~Straining the watermelon mixture is optional, but I personally liked the smoother texture of the strained version. Totally your preference!