Think Pink For Your July 4th Drink
Yeah, you’re probably thinking this is yet another one of those “rosé all day “ kinda posts you see everywhere.
(Not that there’s anything wrong with that. FBP is a super-fan of rosé, particularly sparkling…)
But no. Today, I’m talking about the other, non-alcoholic kind of pink drink: watermelon juice.
While I always ask hubby to save me the juice from our weekly watermelon, its yield is kinda low.
Instead, I prefer splurging on cold-pressed watermelon juice: a 12 oz. bottle costs anywhere from $3-4. (Which might just explain Dana’s recent sighting of the state’s watermelon farmers partying it up at St. Pete’s tony Vinoy hotel.)
Think of watermelon as the La Mer of juice.
We’ve already posted about why hydration is so important in Florida. Right now, our temps are in the mid-90s with real feels in the 100s. Watermelon juice is a delicious way to quench your thirst.
And it’s really good for you. One serving of watermelon juice replenishes 30% of your daily vitamin A depletion, which you need in our sunny state. It boasts more lycopene for preventing diabetes and heart disease and vitamin C (580%) than any fruit or veggie. Need more? It’s a great source of potassium and l-citrulline — both critical for post-workout muscle recovery.
My favorite brand of watermelon juice is Tsamma. (Check your weekly Publix flyer for sales, when the price dips every now and then to $1.25 for the small bottles and it’s a steal. There are also BOGOs on quart-sized, from time to time). It’s helmed by a female farmer/part-time Naples resident and the fruit is grown in Florida. You can also try Beyoncé-backed WTRMLN WTR and Trader Joe’s seasonal sparklers, pretty and perfect for celebrating all season.
Three Ways To Indulge
While watermelon juice is always tasty in a cocktail, here are a few refreshing booze-free enjoyment tips:
1. Add fizzy water. One 12 oz portion is 90 calories, the equivalent of eating the 1.5 watermelons comprising a typical bottle. Not bad when eating it, but when pressed into juice, it’s pretty high. (Though nowhere near non-diet soda.) Mix it 50/50 with San Pellegrino over ice, adding shredded basil or mint leaves for a subtle hint of flavor.
2. Blend it for breakfast. For an easy-peasy small yogurt smoothie, mix 8 oz. watermelon juice with 1 serving of Siggi’s plain or Fage with honey.
3. Next-level your next arugula / feta / watermelon salad. Intensify the watermelon-y-ness of a classic arugula-feta-you know-what salad with this watermelon vinaigrette created by legendary James Beard award-winning chef Suzanne Goin. I’ve oh-so loosely adapted it with typical finds in my pantry, plus any herbs thriving in my garden.
Set aside a small, sealable Pyrex bowl-shaped container, both to mix and store leftovers which will easily keep fresh up to 2 weeks. There’s also less clean up.
Next, pour one 12 oz. bottle of watermelon juice into a saucepan and reduce over high-ish heat. (Pay attention as cooking time will vary depending on your cookware.) It’s finished when you’ve got 4 oz or less remaining and you see a change in consistency.
Use my pal Chef Michael Guerrieri’s (Mariah C has him on speed dial) no-fail 3-to-1 ratio of premium olive oil to balsamic vinegar. (Try Lucini olive oil, created by FBP shelfie star Renee Frigo.) For two people, 4 oz of oil and 1 oz of balsamic work for at least three salads. If you need more, always remember the ratio.
Salt + pepper to taste. This is crucial for maxing flavor and balance. Add a sprig or two of fresh mint leaves, removed from stem. Shredded basil and de-stemmed, chopped rosemary also work well.
Last, cover the container and shake it to blend. Drizzle over salad and immediately place remaining dressing in the fridge.
Happy Independence Day babes!
(BEAUTEOUS) STILL-LIFE WITH WATERMELON: TEAM ESIL