A peek Into My Kitchen: Watermelon Juice (Mocktail or Cocktail)

My whole family loves watermelon and my kids could happily eat it at every meal.  There are always those weeks, though, when a too-big watermelon comes from Fresh Direct, the watermelon turns out to be overripe or, for some reason, sits cut up in a container in the fridge just a day too long…resulting in watermelon that's just a little too red and mushy to eat as is.  This juice, based on Molly Katzen's version of a Mexican Licuado is one of the most refreshing things that I have ever tasted–and, would, I bet make fantastic ice pops as well.

The measurements are approximate–play with them (and the type of juice!) to get the sweet-tart balance that suits you best.

Watermelon Juice makes a nice sized pitcher of juice (about 2 qts)

4 cups watermelon cubes

1/2 cup apple juice

Juice from a lemon or two

A couple of Tbsp superfine sugar (you can use regular granulated but it will be grainy), simple syrup or agave nectar

A few sprigs of fresh mint, optional

1. Blend the watermelon until smooth (if you catch it at the right moment, Katzen  says that you can discard the seeds without having them ground up into the juice–I almost always buy seedless watermelons).

2.  Pour through a strainer, mushing it enough to get all of the juice without any pieces.

3.  Add apple juice, lemon juice and sugar, stirring well.

4. Add fresh mint right before serving

For after hours, a splash or two of vodka (and serving it in a glass without a cartoon character on it!) makes a refreshing, tropical-feeling cocktail to help you unwind after a long, hot summer day!