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As the summer lingers on, I often seek relief in the form of a cool refreshment I discovered in Mexico decades ago in the form of Agua Fresca de Sandía or watermelon water. Over the years I have tweaked a recipe received from an amiga who frequently prepared this simple and delightful concoction that helps to beat the heat, even if only for a moment.
One small (around 6 cups), well-chilled seedless watermelon
One medium cucumber, peeled
Juice of one regular-sized lime
1 cup very cold purified water
1-1/2 cups crushed ice (from purified water)
Turbinado sugar as needed (optional)
1 or 2 diced jalapeño peppers (optional)
Cut watermelon meat into cubes and place in blender with water and lime juice. Blend until liquefied, then add cucumber (and diced jalapeño if desired, for an extra “zip”). Blend again to a liquid consistency. (If you do not favor pulp, strain mixture at this point.) Blend mixture together with ice to a liquid consistency. If your watermelon is sufficiently sweet at this point, you may want to skip the sugar. Otherwise, add sugar as needed and blend again very briefly.
Serve in a tall glass (chilled and rimmed with red sugar for a great presentation). Garnish with a stick of jicama and a sprig of mint (or whatever you like). Enjoy!