Saturday, July 12, 2008

Watermelonade

You would be hard-pressed to find something more refreshing than watermelon. This cooler is easy to make, beautiful to behold, and not too sweet. You'll want a pitcher of it in the refrigerator all summer.

Active time: 30 min Start to finish: 30 min

Servings: Makes 1 gallon (serves 16)

WATERMELONADE

Ingredients

1 (12-lb) watermelon (preferably seedless)
1/4 cup sugar, divided
4 tsp fresh lemon juice, divided
16 cups ice cubes, divided

Garnish: lemon slices; mint sprigs

Cut watermelon flesh into 2-inch chunks and discard rind. Purée one fourth of watermelon in a blender with 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp lemon juice, 4 cups ice, and a pinch of salt. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, discarding solids. Make 3 more batches. Add sugar to taste if desired and serve over ice.

Cooks' note: Watermelonade can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Drink will separate; re-blend before serving.

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