Watermelon, Grapefruit, and Mint Coolers

Happy Memorial Day! I hope all of you are enjoying a warm, sunny day off, with a cool beverage in hand. And taking some time to realize how blessed we are to live in a free country.

I read a moving story in The New York Times this weekend about a group of artists who are drawing portraits of service members who were wounded in Iraq or Afganistan. Though the soldiers’ injuries are grisly, the artists portray these brave souls with dignity and–after spending hours conversing with them–personality. The story (and the accompanying drawings) was a powerful reminder of the many people giving their limbs–and lives–to keep our country safe. Though I’m saddened by the unimaginable losses of these service members and their families, I am incredibly grateful that we have men and women willing to fight for our country’s freedom.

Even though I’m actually working today (the joys of freelancing!), I did take some time to enjoy a lovely outdoor brunch with friends–and to make this, my new favorite summer drink.

Since Brandon can’t drink right now (for medical reasons) and since I shouldn’t (given that I have a story due tomorrow!), I wanted to create something cool, refreshing, and nonalcoholic. I had some seedless watermelon, grapefruit, and mint in the fridge so that’s what I used. This couldn’t be any easier to make, provided you have a good blender. Everything (well, minus the fruit peels) went into the blender with a few ice cubes, and moments later we had ice-cold, citrusy, minty drinks with just a hint of sweetness from the watermelon. Perfect for a 90-degree day like today. And given that we have a long, hot summer ahead, I have a feeling I’ll be blending quite a few of these in the upcoming months!

If you want to make an “adult” version of these, try adding in some vodka. Or make watermelon margaritas by substituting the grapefruit juice for lime juice and swapping the mint for some tequila and Triple Sec. Any of these combos are winners.

For another delicious alternative, try my Strawberry Limeade with Mint.


Serves 2

3 cups cubed watermelon (preferably seedless)
1 large ruby red grapefruit, juiced
2 tablespoons chopped mint

Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse a few times to combine. Add a few ice cubes and puree until smooth. Garnish with a mint sprig and enjoy!

NOTE: If you want this to be a little sweeter, try adding in a few teaspoons of agave nectar.

My name is Anna Watson Carl. In a word, I love food, I love France, and I love throwing dinner parties. Over the years, I've worked as a personal chef, taught cooking classes, edited cookbooks, written for magazines, tested and styled recipes, and traveled whenever opportunity has arisen. But at heart, there's nothing I love more than sharing a meal with friends around the yellow table.

For me, cooking has always been a way of life. As a (mildly precocious) ten-year old, I planned and prepared a four-course Valentine's dinner for my parents, birthing a lifelong passion for dinner parties. That was just the beginning. I've been cooking ever since, whipping up souffles at a chateau in Burgundy, searing filet mignon for a wealthy client's dog (bizarre, but true), butchering ducks for confit de canard in Paris, baking the night shift in Nashville, and bathing the floor of my NYC apartment in turkey brine...the story continues.


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