It’s safe to say this is one of my favorite beverages I’ve ever had. I made it earlier this summer for a canoe trip down the Milwaukee River and then across a bit of Lake Michigan with my neighbors. It tastes like..what it is right now, the peak of summer. It’s a great drink to have on your side during a hot day (I’ve already gone into a bit of the amazing properties of vinegar in my post on Pear Cider Vinegar and of more general fermentation in my post on Sauerkraut), it’s refreshing, is mostly water so keeps you hydrated and helps balance electrolytes. The commonly supplemented amino-acid, l-citrulline (popular for reducing fatigue and increasing endurance) is actually named after the Latin word for watermelon.
The sun wasn’t cooperating with me again today so I decided to make this on the porch. Other than the table being too low and my next door neighbor smoking cigarettes every 5 minutes while silently staring at me, watching me do things he doesn’t understand to a watermelon, it served as a good reminder that I should never complain about not having decent natural light again when I can just, you know, go outside.
Tonight we’re watching Privilege (1967) in the woods and Kiefer will be bringing tequila to make this into the best margaritas ever. For movie nights, I’m in charge of dinner and Kiefer is in charge of snacks, but this morning I texted him “how about just tequila as a snack?” and he said “sounds good to me”.
All the other gallon jars are occupied so I had to use this stupid one with a Christmas tree on the side. I tried to hide it in the pictures to an extent that borders on embarrassing, but as you can see, it wasn’t easy. I’ll be damned, I’m certain of it.
Mint and Basil Pickled Watermelon Tonics
1 small watermelon chopped (about 14 cups)
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup basil, chopped
1 cup mint, chopped
1 lemon, sliced
(optional: as I like to do with everything, I added smoked blood orange peels)
pinch of salt
In a large glass jar or pitcher, combine all ingredients. Let sit for 2-6 hours, then strain. This makes a concentrate, so water it down before serving to your liking (doing so with sparkling water is fantastic). Eat the delicious, vinegary watermelon solids left over.