Nothing means hot like the high temperatures of the dog days of July, ‘cept those days in August. “Dog days’ comes from the ancient belief that Sirius, also called the Dog Star, in close proximity to the sun was responsible for the hot weather. Southerners like me believed dog days was from the vision of yard dogs so lazy in the scorching sun they couldn’t – or wouldn’t – move. ‘Cept under a tree or in the sprinkler that spits out laughing, screaming children drenched from head to toe. And cool.
A dog day means sweating. And sometimes a lot of that. If an A/C didn’t fly into your window or you’re a running, walking, biking, and swimming aficionado, you’re at high risk of losing essential minerals from your body’s fluids (blood, plasma and from the fluid between your cells). Electrolytes, those minerals your body needs to keep your ticker ticking and nerves nerving (among other things), can become imbalanced through excessive sweating for any reason. Sweating loses potassium and sodium.
This lip-smacking watermelon juice replaces these where plain water simply cannot. All you need is a blender, a big ole watermelon and some ginger and lemongrass (for convenience, yes, you can buy both of these in a jar, they’re just not as spicy). For fun, you could freeze ginger slices in an old fashioned ice cube tray and use these floating in your glass. Stemless wine glasses spark the sensation of eloquence.
Watermelon Juice with Ginger and Lemongrass
Thanks to watermelon’s natural sweetness, this drink doesn’t call for sugar.
- 4 pounds watermelon, peeled and cut into cubes (12 cups)
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemongrass
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
- Ice cubes
- Garnish: trimmed lemongrass stalks
- Puree watermelon in a blender until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a pitcher. Stir in lemon juice, lemongrass, ginger, and salt. Refrigerate until chilled, about 20 minutes.
- Divide juice among 6 ice-filled glasses, and garnish with lemongrass stalks. Makes 6 servings.