Agua Fresca- Cantaloupe-Basil

Jon made this for dinner on Sunday evening to accompany burgers and coleslaw. He found the recipe in the June 2012 issue of Bon Apetit. There’s one word for this: fresh! Without any additives, this “juice” allows the natural flavor of the cantaloupe and basil to shine. Other Agua Frescas in that issue include Chia Limeade, Watermelon & Grapefruit, and Tamarind & Date. I hope we get to try them all!

Preparation:

Working in batches, puree 15 cups chopped cantaloupe (from about 3 1/2 lbs. melons) in a blender until smooth. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl; line sieve with cheesecloth. Strain puree into bowl; gather cheesecloth into a bundle and squeeze and remaining juice into the bowl. Repeat process with fresh cheesecloth, straining into a large pitcher (makes about 5 cups of juice). Add 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 3/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, and 2 cups cold water to pitcher. Let steep at room temperature for 1-2 hours. Fill glasses with ice. Divide among glasses. Serves 8.

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