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What better way to overcome guilt demons than with a kid cocktail offering. What no milk, who died?

It’s been a smoldering couple of days (and nights) in Southern California. First, we long for a warm summer night buried in our Midwestern memories and then when one comes along – panic. We crank up the air, paint the kids in zinc oxide, pack water bottles into our socks andthe cat has an asthmatic crisis. We talk incessantly about the agony of it all like we’ve been on the Bataan Death March. We’re rather precious in these parts.



I feel for my kids, however, they’re already buried under what’s now become an over-scheduled childhood. Seems like some teachers are making up for lost time in the summer by piling on homework and sports are kicking into high gear which brings me to a hot Wednesday night and how we doused out exhaustion and stress with a little thing we like to call agua fresca.

Senior daughter, not to be confused with Señor Daughter who much like sister wife is a conflicted family member, is living that year, that loaded year where it feels like her entire future rests on everything from how many AP classes she takes to how she parts her hair (hope northeastern schools like middles). Fifth grade boy is swimming in every sport but swimming. And so on that particular hot Wednesday, the girl ripe and dusty from a horse riding lesson in the Valley (I know boo hoo) and the boy limp and flushed from back to back football and basketball practices, faced mounds of homework.

summer watermelon chunks


I on the other hand, while in my air conditioned kitchen, sliced watermelon into dainty cubes and worried about how they will remember their school days – fun, coming of age, giddy simpler times or stress-filled, racing, anguished days?



It seemed only right that between sports and homework, I serve up a naturally refreshing beverage for them and agua frescas seemed up for the task. Agua frescas translates to fresh waters, but has come to mean fruit juices. In this case, I extracted juice from a watermelon by blending it down and straining it. Often sugar is not needed, but this watermelon was not very sweet so I made a lukewarm water simple syrup to heighten the flavor. The options are endless.

thirst quenched



watermelon agua fresca, naturally quenching

preptime 15 minutes

makes about 1 1/2 quarts

6-8 c cubed melon (about 7 pounds)

1 – 1 1/2 c water

1/4 c sugar

fresh mint


  1. For not so sweet watermelons: Mix sugar into water, stirring until the sugar dissolves and pour half of the mixture into the blender.
  2. Fill the blender with half of the cubed melon.
  3. Blend on slow to start, then turn up the speed. Blend for a minute until emulsified.
  4. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher.
  5. Repeat the process with the remaining simple syrup and melon.
  6. Taste and adjust with more simple syrup if needed.
  7. Serve over ice.
recipe provided by your friends at crunchtimefood.com

1 Comment

  1. Elizabeth says Sep 10th 2011 9:25 am

    SOOOO refreshing! Looks delish.

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