Like most kids I know, Owen is obsessed with the movie Frozen. On a recent trip to the supermarket, he spotted some bottles of water with the characters on them. Even though I’m generally opposed to paying for something I can get for free from my kitchen sink, I caved and let him get the Olaf one. When we got home, I opened it for him and he took a sip. I asked him how he liked his water, and he looked at me and said, “No Mommy. It’s juice.”
In fact, he was right. It wasn’t water at all; it was “Berry Frost Flavored Water Drink” with a laundry list of artificial ingredients. Oops.
So let’s talk about how to make natural flavored waters, or agua frescas (“cool waters” in Spanish). It’s a lot like making lemonade, only instead of sticking with citrus fruit you can let your imagination run wild. Melons, pineapples, berries, mangos, guavas—they’re all fair game.
This honeydew version is adapted from Hugh Acheson’s new cookbook, The Broad Fork: Recipes for the Wide World of Vegetables and Fruits. Usually I find chef’s cookbooks a little intimidating, but this one is super approachable. (There is a cantaloupe soup with curry(!) that I’m dying to try next.)
This recipe includes a full cup of lime juice, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is a limeade—Alex didn’t even guess it was there. Instead, it’s just the perfect expression of melon in a glass. I didn’t even use a very good one (I’m literally the worst person in the world at picking melons) and somehow it still came out fabulous.
We’ve been drinking this topped with a little club soda, but I think it goes without saying that Prosecco would be an even better choice.
Honeydew Agua Fresca
- 1 honeydew melon
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice about 6 small limes
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
Cut, seed, and dice the melon into chunks, discarding the rind. Combine half the melon and the lime juice in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour through a strainer into a large bowl. Puree the remaining melon and 1 cup water and pour through the strainer. Use a wooden spoon to press out as much melon liquid as possible. Discard the melon pulp. Transfer the melon juice to a pitcher.
In a small saucepan, combine the remaining cup of water, sugar, and honey. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Pour into the pitcher with the melon juice. Chill in the refrigerator until cold. Serve over ice.