Watermelon Drinks: Budget Food Tip

One of the surest signs that summer has arrived is the appearance of watermelons in the store. Nothing says summer like the sweet and refreshing taste of red ripe watermelon, enjoyed by the slice or chopped up into cubes in a fruit salad.

In the store, look for a firm watermelon free of bruises. Pick it up and tap the side with your palm – it should sound like a hollow thump, and feel heavy for its size. Watermelon is also rich in the antioxidant lycopene, as well as potassium and vitamins B6 and C.

For a new and simple way to enjoy the tasty summer treat, which hits its peak from May through September, try a simple and refreshing watermelon drink.

To make:

Chop up approximately a quarter of a whole watermelon into cubes (tip: slice in vertically, then horizontally, in a grid pattern, then turn upside down and let the cubes tumble out) in a food processor or blender. Add about 1 teaspoon fresh mint, them puree. Pour and serve, garnishing with fresh mint or a few cubes of watermelon on a swizzle stick or on the rim of the glass. Serves two.

Alternately, to make spiked watermelon, take a whole watermelon and drill or cut a hole in the bottom, wide and deep enough to fit a funnel into. Insert funnel, then pour 2-3 cups of alcohol (vodka, rum or champagne work great) into the watermelon. Chill in the refrigerator for a day, then pour more alcohol in (the flesh of the watermelon will absorb the liquid). Slice chilled melon into pieces and serve.

For other watermelon recipes, visit Watermelon.org.