Cantaloupe Agua Fresca with Jalapeno Garnish

Agua Fresca is one of my favorite things during the hot Summer months.  Back when I lived in Austin, I loved heading to the neighborhood grocery store to get a big glass of ice cold watermelon, or cantaloupe agua fresca!  If you have never tried the stuff before, it is simple to make, and tastes delicious.  Its basically water, fruit, and sugar.  Easy peasy, and so much better than overly sweet fruit juices out of a jug.  Here's what you need:

A cantaloupe peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
3 c. water
1/4 c. sugar
1 jalapeno + extra for the garnish (totally optional, but super tasty)

Put your cantaloupe into a large bowl or a blender.  If you have a stick blender blend your cantaloupe and water together in the bowl until you have a smooth mixture with no large chunks.  If you use a blender put as much cantaloupe as you can into the blender and cover with water.  Blend until smooth.  Pour into a bowl.  Blend up the rest of your cantaloupe and water and pour that into the bowl too. Pour your cantaloupe water mixture through a sieve saving the juice into another bowl and discarding the pulp.  Stir in the sugar and pour your juice into a pitcher.  Slice one jalapeno in half lengthwise and put into the pitcher with the juice.  Let the jalapeno set in the juice as long as you want - the longer the stronger the jalapeno flavor.  I suggest 2-3 hours.  

That's it!  Pour your agua fresca over ice and drink it up!  If you want to make this drink a little stiff, add some coconut rum.  SO GOOD!  

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