I rarely drink sodas (or cokes, as we typically call them down here in Texas…). I used to, years ago, but now drink mostly water, coffee, and tea. Every now and then, however, a carbonated beverage is a much-needed refreshment. Especially when it’s hot.
And ladies and gentlemen, it’s officially hot.
We’ve had a mild spring this year, but this week has brought in tons of humidity and sunshine, and our temps are in the upper 90s. Ah, yes. Texas summers. I’ll be wishing for October’s cooler breezes all too soon.
But in the meanwhile, let’s make the most of summer’s pleasures. One such pleasure is watermelon. I could eat my weight in watermelon. And why not? It’s sweet and definitely cools you on a hot day. Most of the time, it’s sufficient for me to simply cut it open and announce to the family that there is watermelon, and it’s gone in a flash. Once in a great while, though, I can sneak some for a special treat. Like a soda.
With lime. You know, just for fun. And because I have a ton of limes at the moment.
This soda is made with a cane sugar syrup made with unrefined cane sugar, but you can always opt to substitute some agave nectar, honey, or maple syrup to suit your needs. I bet you could also use stevia with a little experimentation. I also happen to think this soda would benefit nicely from the addition of rum or tequila after the kiddies go to bed. In fact, I might make another batch just to test that out.
Hmm. Watermelon-lime-a-ritas, anyone?
But I digress. Here is the “virgin” variety. Don’t be daunted by making the lime simple syrup – it only takes a few minutes. And it’s so worth it. You might just need more lime simple syrup in your life, in fact. Along with a watermelon lime soda or two.
Watermelon Lime Soda (gluten-free, vegan)
5 cups watermelon chunks
2 cups sparkling mineral water or seltzer
Lime simple syrup, recipe below
Lots of ice
Lime Simple Syrup:
1/2 cup turbinado/raw sugar
1/4 cup water
Juice of 2 limes (about 1/4 cup)
Zest of 1 lime
To make the simple syrup, combine all of the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, juice the watermelon by either placing the cubes in a juicer, or placing in a blender and pureeing, then straining out any seeds through a colander.
In a pitcher, combine the watermelon juice, cooled simple syrup, and seltzer water. Serve immediately over glasses filled with ice, garnishing with limes if desired.
Makes 4 servings.