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Watermelon-Hibiscus Agua Fresca

 I am not sure if I am the only person who likes fresh watermelon (if it is nice, ripe and sweet) - but is usually disgusted by watermelon juice.

It is a catastrophe - and it is independent if it is a pasteurized juice (there are few - maybe because of exactly this reason) - if it is purchased fresh - or homemade juice.

A slow juicer makes it a bit better - but I would still rather drink any different juice.

I believe, that it is a) the lack of acidity and b) the seeds, which introduce some "tannins" into the juice, which doesn't work with the overall fruity and refreshing aroma of watermelon.

I tried basically everything possible (so I thought) to come up with a solution, which taste great. But basically by accident I found the solution: mix the watermelon with some hibiscus infusion.

The idea originally was to make a watermelon aguafresca - blended with water and a bit sugar and strained. However I thought, it could not hurt to add a bit flavor. And as I needed anyway something a bit acidic, hibiscus came to my mind. This also adds nicely to the color.

My expectations were totally exceeded when I found the right balance. It is still refreshing like a watermelon juice, however has the unique floral notes of hibiscus, has some sweetness and some acidity (with only a little additional lime). Perfect!

Watermelon & Hibiscus Agua Fresca

750ml water
15g hibiscus
120g sugar
+ Watermelon juice (slow squeezed) & lime 

Heat water and add hibiscus and let it infuse. Best way is to use the immersion circulator and "sous vide" it for about 3 hours. Strain and add the sugar while warm (dissolves easier).

Add 45ml of sweetened hibiscus infusion into an ice filled highball glass. Fill up with watermelon juice (ca. 150 ml) and stir. Squeeze a lime wedge over it and garnish.

It is super refreshing, slightly sour - but also sweet. Off course depending on the watermelon you can add more or less sugar to the hibiscus. And the additional advantage is, that you could drink the hibiscus without watermelon as Agua de Jamaica - just add a bit of water.


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