On sweat-soaked sunny days, and long summer nights, nothing beats an ice-cold homemade drink. Though it’s just the start of May, the heat wave is in full swing. This summer, I’m on a mission to try out some innovative homemade drinks using seasonal fruits.

Lemonade – our very own neembo pani – is loved by all. A well-crafted lemonade carries a balance of the sweet and tangy flavors of fresh lemon juice and sugar syrup. I seriously love lemonade, but for me it has to be smooth and without pulp. To achieve this, I use a blender. To add a twist to this conventional formula, I decided to mix in watermelons! Watermelon is a most delightful blessing in summers, and lemons make for a perfect marriage of flavor. It tastes out-of-this-world!

This was my first experiment blending lemonade with fruits. It turned out great, and has been a family favorite this summer – both Ali and my little chap totally love it. It also makes for an ideal thirst quencher for gatherings and iftars this season; delivering the sweetness of melons and the tanginess of lemons. Be sure to try it our this summer!

Ingredients:

  • Watermelon – half, cubed with seeds removed
  • Lemon Juice – ½ cup, strained and chilled
  • Sugar – 3/4 cup (or to taste – add more if you want)
  • Cold water – 3 to 4 cups
  • Ice cubes and Mint Leaves

Instructions:

  1. Add the cubed watermelon into a blender and pulse until well pureed. Add a little water if needed. Strain into a bowl
  2. Blend sugar and lemon juice with a half cup of room temperature water until sugar is dissolved. (Room temperature water helps the sugar dissolve quickly. You can also whisk in a pitcher if you don’t want to blend it)
  3. Add the blended watermelon and stir for a good while, then place it in the fridge
  4. Add ice and mint directly into the glasses and pour the watermelon lemonade on top. Enjoy your chilled fruity lemonade!

Fatima Ali

I am trained to be an IT professional. I served National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) for six years after graduating from the same university. As long as I can remember, cooking good food has been my passion and it makes me happy. My cooking lessons were a bit unusual though. Back in the day when digital did not mean much, my father would record cooking shows (knorr ka kitchen, kaukab khuwaja and Zee Khana Khazana – Chef Sanjeev Kapoor) for me to watch endless times later on, before trying the recipes out. I would make brownies and cold cake almost every day while my mother was asleep. This was my way of surprising her every evening. My mother cooks amazing food too and I have tried many of the recipes written in her recipe book. I draw inspiration from a number of chefs from televised cooking shows such as Late Chef Farah, Chef Rahat, Chef Mehboob, BBC Food, Masala TV, Chef Shai, Chef Sharmeen, Master Chef Australia and my ultimate favorite Chef Shireen Anwer. I would not be as good a cook I am now without passive guidance from each one of these.