Tuesday, July 17, 2007

WaterLemon Ginger Ale

Maheshwari of Beyond the Usual has started an event called A Fruit A Month that seeks to take fruits beyond the usual! The challenge is to try a recipe using the fruit of that month. Bee and Jai of Jugalbandi are guest hosts this month and they are celebrating the season with the WATERMELON! See details about this event here. Every weekend this summer, V and I have been trekking to the Soulard Farmer's market, and ritually choosing and bringing home a huge watermelon. Here is one we bought last week: it is a Missouri-grown seedless variety called Black Diamond.
water1
That creamy yellow spot on the belly of the watermelon tells us that this guy was sitting on the ground, ripening in the sun. Inside, the watermelon is bright red, turgid with juice, with a crisp texture and a thin rind.
water2

All week, we carve out chunks from the melon and slurp the abundant nectar, sticky juice running down our chins. That is the way I like my watermelon: just the way it is, "simply unfooled around with" :) But Jai and Bee came up with their challenge, and I went hunting for a recipe. If you can call it that! This summery drink is simply watermelon juice spiked with ginger and lemon. The inspiring recipe called for ginger *syrup*, but with the sweetness of the melon, I felt that it was completely unnecessary to add all that extra sugar to the drink. Also, a few chunks and fibers in the drink don't bother me at all, so I don't strain the watermelon juice. This can hardly be called an exact recipe...the proportion of ginger, lemon and sugar are all to taste.

(This icon means that we are celebrating local produce fresh from the Farmers' Market. Many thanks to Alanna for sharing this icon with her fellow bloggers!)

WaterLemon Ginger Ale

(adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe, makes 6-10 servings)
water3
Ingredients:
1/2 of a medium-large watermelon
Juice of 2 lemons
3/4 cup finely chopped fresh ginger
1/4 cup sugar
Method:
1. Make the ginger infusion by combining ginger, sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring it to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Let it cool down completely, then strain it to remove the ginger pieces.
2. Make watermelon juice by cutting the watermelon into cubes, removing seeds if there are any, and putting the cubes through a food processor (a blender may also work).
3. In a large bowl, combine the watermelon juice, lemon juice and ginger infusion. Taste and adjust sugar if necessary. Serve chilled, adding ice cubes just before serving.

Verdict: I served this drink to friends a couple of evenings ago, and we all loved it! It was utterly refreshing. One of my friends said that it reminded her of sugarcane juice- and once she said it, I had to agree: this drink has many of the same flavor notes of sugarcane juice, something that I really miss drinking :(
You could add some black salt or chaat masala to this drink, as a variation. I like it just the way it is.

This week is all about exploration and experimentation, as we cook with unfamilar veggies for the X of Indian Vegetables. Just to remind all enthusiastic participants, entries are due Saturday!

32 comments:

  1. This sounds PERFECT for a hot summer weekend!!! must try! Thanx :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lovely recipe, Nupur. bookmarked right away!

    ReplyDelete
  3. wow!!perfect summer drink ...i wish i could drink 1 glass from the jar ....

    ReplyDelete
  4. That looks incredibly refreshing!

    ReplyDelete
  5. lovely pictures and great drink. super cooler to beat the heat.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nupur, it sounds wonderful and that watermelon is absolutely perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I like the li't twist you have added. Ginger should taste great in almost any drink..

    ReplyDelete
  8. Not only does it look beautiful, I *love* the name :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nupur this looks very refreshing and delicious - perfect for the summer.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thats a great recipe Nupur. I added mint to my watermelon juice along with the ginger. I will try it with the ginger syrup though.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Nupur, this is a lovely watermelon juice recipe..looks very refreshing!Thanks. Even I dont like straining the watermelon juice!

    ReplyDelete
  12. watermelon, ginger and lemon. three of my favourite things. must taste fabulous. i can see the connection with sugarcane juice. there too, they often add ginger and lime.

    ReplyDelete
  13. The slushy drink looks so cool and refreshing. I might as well make it while it is still watermelon season!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Nupur that watermelon Ale with 'Ala (ginger)'looks very refreshing.I have a watermelon and am going to try this today!thanks.
    BTW loved your Naan and Korma -very tenpting.

    ReplyDelete
  15. my blogosphere sister :-) we're thinking on the same lines :-) my entry is also very similar... only it appeals to the laziest side of me... zero work :-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Nupur that is such a refreshing drink! Look at that healthy color! Thanks a bunch! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Looks very delicious ..Nupur...and by the way you are being tagged you should come with your meme again...

    it will be fun to know 7 more..:)..

    Srivalli
    www.cooking4allseasons.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. WaterLemon had me clicking quickly on your feed to find out what you had posted. And I was not disappointed! Sounds perfect for the scorchers we've been having! And who can resist all that fresh ginger!

    ReplyDelete
  19. wow such a refreshing drink

    ReplyDelete
  20. truely refreshing drink for summer. and if u say it tastes like sugarcane juice then no stopping me from making this:)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks everyone, for your lovely comments!! Let me know if you do try it :)

    Linda, the name is appropriately silly, right?

    Priyanka, mint is a great idea! I'm going to try that...

    Madhuli, "ale" and ginger :) Very clever, why didn't I think of that?? :)

    Raaga, I saw your entry :) Zero work is the way to go!!

    Srivalli, I'll try! :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. wow, I luv gingerale and watermelon. Can things get better than the 2 combined?

    ReplyDelete
  23. Nupur,
    That looks so good!Perfect drink on a hot summer day!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Nupur,

    The watermelon cooler looks so refreshing. With temperature in the upper nineties I will definitely make this! Also, thanks for the tip to pick out a melon, will keep it in mind.

    Regards,
    Namita.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I see myself with my head thrown back draining the last drop of the watermelon ginger ale and crushing the ice but first licking them for any remnants of the drink :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hey Nupur, this is my first time coming to your blog. Your watermelon ginger ale is really very refreshing and nice entry to AFAM. I am a budding blogger,if time permits do visit me at
    http://padmaskitchen.blogspot.com

    Nice photos too, feels replenished!

    ReplyDelete
  27. What a lovely even coloured watermelon, and that too seedless!!Nice recipe I am book marking it. Liked the combo of ginger and lemon with the fruit, it reminds me too of sugarcane juice :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. The Watermelon ginger ale, looks so tempting.....
    Lovely Pics too!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Lazy twist would be ... watermelon cubes + lite apple juice + lemon concentrate or lemon juice + ginger slices (generous portion) + honey. This way you don't need to worry about sugar as the sweetness comes from lite apple juice and honey. :-) Puree everything.

    ReplyDelete
  30. this is similar to something we get in the mexican markets called 'agua fresca' that uses fresh fruits. the addition of ginger sounds delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hey Nupur tried this out...Though was skeptical about ginger..but loved the way ginger combined with Watermelon.
    I have used this for MBP: Fruit Fare..Check it out.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love watermelon simply blended with mint. Delicious on hot summer day.

    Will try this recipe for relatives coming for daughter's wedding. I've searched your blog and have found tons of options to feed our hungry relatives. Thank you for helping plan our celebration.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to say hello!