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!
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.