Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Canada Day passed me by…Happy Belated Canada Day to my fellow Canucks…yet I’m barely on the ball as far as getting it together for the 4th of July!  

This is the time of year that I’m getting ready for our yearly vacation so honestly my head is not in the game.  I did clear my head enough to whip up a really refreshing drink for that hot Independence Day BBQ, or just to enjoy while sitting around the pool. 

If all you have is a kiddie pool that works too!

Ooh, or how about the slip and slide...on second thought... I’m pretty sure I’d slip and slide myself right into the emergency room now a days, I’m not as agile as I once was.

Agua Fresca…just the name indicates that it’s cool and refreshing.  Agua Fresca can be made in a variety of ways, but I chose watermelon, cuz watermelon is what I want in the heat of summer.  I paired it with a little tarragon for a lovely herbal note, that’s not too herbal.  While I made mine virgin I’m pretty darned sure that Watermelon Tarragon Agua Fresca would make a tasty summer cocktail.
I’ve also prepared a round-up of some tasty dishes that are perfect for a 4th of July party, or just for a summer barbecue!

Happy Independence Day Y’all!

Corn Tomato and Avocado Salad
Mango Slaw is great as a side, as well as a topping for hotdogs or pulled pork sammies!

Cuz there has got to be potato salad...Dilly Green Bean Potato Salad

This Cheese Stuffed Turkey Burger is always a hit!

Vegetarians and Herbivores alike will love Stuffed Portabellas Stacked with Grilled Veggies.
For dessert, what's more American than peanut butter?  Peanut Butter and Banana Cake with Peanut Butter and Honey Frosting

More burgers and toppings:
Jalapeno Mayonnaise or Easy Peasy Peach BBQ Sauce

The Most Amazing Asian Burgers 
Greek Burgers with Feta Olive Burger Sauce

 Sides and salads: 
 Penne Pasta with Grilled Veggies and Smoked Gouda
 Beef and Cheese Jalapeno Pepper Poppers
 Nectarine (or peach) and Feta Salad

Chocolately, Coconut & Almond Rice Krispy Treats
Ginger and Lime Scented Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Here's what you do for refreshing Watermelon Tarragon Agua Fresca.
About 1/4 of a watermelon will make 4 drinks.

Cut the watermelon into 1 inch cubes.

A little tarragon goes a long way in this drink; you will need about a teaspoon chopped up.

Mint or basil would be great in this as well.

My blender will only do half a batch at a time, so I added half the watermelon and tarragon with a little honey.  Start with the least amount of honey, how much you will need depends on the sweetness of the watermelon.

I added the juice of half a lemon and 1/4 cup of water (the water is just to facilitate the blender).
 If you have a larger blender than go ahead and blend it all together at once.

Blend until the watermelon is pureed.

 Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the ingredients to marry.

Pour the chilled Agua Fresca through a strainer to remove any seeds and pulp.

To make the drink pretty go ahead and rub a lemon on the rim of the glasses...

...And dip them in a little sugar.  Allow the sugar to set up on the glasses for a few minutes.

Add some ice and the Agua Fresca to the glasses.

Since I wasn't serving my entire batch, I added some lemon flavored club soda to each glass.

If you are serving the batch all at once you may add the soda to the pitcher of Agua Fresca if you like.

Garnish with a lemon wedge and a sprig of tarragon.


Serves 4 to 6
8              cups         Watermelon cut into about 1 inch cubes (about ¼ watermelon)
¼ to ½     cup           Honey (start with ¼ cup and increase the honey depending upon the sweetness of the watermelon)
1                              Lemon, juice of
½              cup          Water
1               tsp.          Fresh tarragon, chopped (mint or basil would also be yummy)
1               cup          Sparkling water or club soda (lemon flavored is nice) 

You may like sugar to rim the glasses, as well as lemon wedges and tarragon sprigs for garnish.

   1.       You will probably need to make the Agua Fresca in two batches, depending upon the size of your blender.  Blend together all of the ingredients except the sparkling water (or club soda). 
   2.       Chill the blended ingredients for at least 30 minutes, this allows the flavor to marry as well as getting cold.
   3.       Pour the cooled Agua Fresca through a strainer into a pitcher.  Add the sparkling water (or club soda right before serving (if you won't be serving the whole batch immediately, then add 2 ounces of the sparkling water to each glass instead of the whole pitcher).
   4.       Pour a little sugar into a saucer or shallow bowl.  Wet the rim of each glass with a little lemon juice, and dip the glasses into the sugar.  Allow them to set up for a minute of two.
   5.       Add some ice to each glass and pour the Agua Fresca over the ice.  Garnish with a lemon wedge and sprig of tarragon.


To make this into a refreshing cocktail, add 1/2 cup of vodka or light rum to the blender instead of 1/2 cup of water.

If you have the fore sight to make this in advance, you may like to make some extra and freeze it in ice cube trays.  You can add Agua Fresca ice cubes, instead of regular ice cubes to the drink to keep it from getting diluted.


  1. Great round-up! I am super intrigued by your Ginger Lime Pineapple Cake!!!! Sounds right up my alley :)

  2. This looks so refreshing! It's perfect for one of our hot summer days. Pinning!

  3. Awesome roundup! Given how hot it's been, I'm going to need all the watermellon agua fresca I can get to stay hydrated! Have a fun holiday!

  4. Happy Belated 4th July! I am loving everyones recipes for the ocassion but this is such a winner. I love Watermelon :) Do you deliver?

  5. MMMM that drink looks amazing and refreshing too!

  6. such a delightfully cool drink,refreshingly pink,thanks for sharing
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  7. A nice round up. The drink is so fresh and perfect. I've never used tarragon in a drnk, will it a try.

  8. Oh yum! Hope you had a wonderful 4th of July. I could do this drink - I could have one every day of Summer. Have a great week

  9. This looks delicious...I might use this recipe and make it for my guests.