Inspired by classic aguas frescas, the refreshing fruit drinks sold by street vendors in Mexico, TT Drinks Editor Jim Meehan mixed fresh watermelon juice with tart hibiscus tea, agave syrup and a little blanco tequila.
You can prep his bright, floral, boozy update, aptly named Agua Fuerte, ahead of time, then quickly mix large batches right in the pitcher when you're ready to start drinking. It's the perfect thing to pour for big groups at summer parties.
To learn more, read "Melon Baller."
Watermelon Agua Fuerte
Recipe by Jim Meehan, Tasting Table Drinks Editor
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: N/A
Total Time: 20 minutes
8 cups diced seedless watermelon
1½ tablespoons dried hibiscus flowers
1½ cups water
3 cups tequila blanco, preferably Gran Centenario Plata
1 cup agave simple syrup (1 part nectar to 1 part water, boiled until nectar dissolves)
2 cups club soda
Watermelon balls, for garnish
1. In a blender, purée the watermelon until smooth. Pass the watermelon juice through a fine sieve over a large bowl, discarding any solids. You should have about 3 cups of juice.
2. To make the hibiscus tea, bring the flowers and water to a boil and remove from heat. Let steep for 10 to 12 minutes and strain through a fine sieve. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
3. When ready to serve, combine the watermelon juice, tequila, hibiscus tea and agave syrup over ice in a large pitcher. Using a wooden spoon, mix until well chilled. Top with club soda and garnish with watermelon balls.