Watermelon granitas and mimosas 0
Watermelon Lavender Granita (Courtesy National Watermelon Promotion Board, Watermelon.org)
It wouldn't be summer without watermelon.
This natural thirst-quencher is a fast and fabulous way of beating the heat. Best way to enjoy is in T-shirt and shorts sitting near a sprinkler and letting the sweet juices run down your arms. Yum!
As a natural hydrator (92% of it is water), a one-cup (250ml) serving contains vitamins A, B6 and C, thiamine and more cancer-fighting lycopene than a tomato. A member of the gourd family, its closest relatives are cucumbers and squash, which makes it an incredibly versatile kitchen ingredient, perfect in sweet and savoury dishes along with refreshing drinks.
Add to all of this is its ability to solve a sweet-tooth dilemma without packing on the pounds and you have to ask — what's not to love?
Here's a selection of delightful thirst-quenchers courtesy of the National Watermelon Promotion Board that can be made with or without alcohol. Check out Watermelon.org or Whataboutwatermelon.com for more info and ideas on enjoying this harbinger of the sweet summer season.
Watermelon Lavender Granita
A refreshing treat that offers a unique blend of nutrient-rich watermelon and aromatic lavender in a light palette-pleasing sorbet. Note, edible lavender is available at any organic specialty shop or bulk food shop.
4 1/2 cups (1.125 L) puréed watermelon pulp, divided
1/2 cup (125 ml) sugar (or part sweetener)
1 tsp. (5 ml) edible lavender
1/8 tsp. (0.5 ml) salt
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) lemon juice
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) vodka (optional)
In a small saucepan over medium high heat, add 1/2 cup (125 ml) of watermelon pulp, sugar, lavender and salt. Bring to a slow boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover for 10 minutes. Place strainer over a large bowl and pour syrup mixture through, straining out lavender flowers. Add remaining 4 cups (1L) watermelon, lemon juice and vodka. Stir until blended.
Pour into container, cover, place in freezer. When semi-solid, put into food processor and pulse to remove chunks. Scoop desired amount into a small bowl or parfait dish, garnish with a small wedge of watermelon and a lavender flower.
Serves 4 to 8.
Note: The vodka helps to prevent sorbet from setting too firm.
Watermelon juice adds a refreshing, summery taste to this classic cocktail.
1 cup (250 ml) watermelon juice (purée and strained)
1/2 cup (125 ml) Champagne or sparkling wine (or sparkling water or ginger ale)
Divide watermelon juice among 2 to 3 champagne flutes and top with Champagne.
Makes 2 to 3 cocktails.
Tip: To make watermelon juice, blend cubed watermelon and strain it through a sieve.
Spiked Watermelon Ball
The ultimate summer cooler, these spiked balls are a fun and colourful party treat that will be a hit with your adult guests. Use the alcohol of your choice to customize the recipe’s flavouring to your liking. Or omit the alcohol and use a non-alcoholic pineapple/coconut-flavoured drink for added flair.
1/3 cup (75 ml) water
1/3 cup (75 ml) sugar
1/2 cup (125 ml) light rum (or pineapple/coconut drink)
1/3 cup (75 ml) fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 tsp. (5 ml) lime zest
2 cups (500 ml) watermelon balls
Bring water to a boil. Stir in sugar and simmer for 3 minutes. Add rum or non-alcoholic drink and simmer for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool somewhat before adding lime juice and zest.â¨Using a melon baller, shape watermelon into balls. Pour syrup over fruit, mix gently, cover and refrigerate for several hours before serving.
Makes 8 to 10 balls.