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As the scorching summer days descend on us, you can't go wrong with this refreshing Cantaloupe Strings -Calamansi dessert drink. This is a classic Filipino beverage. It’s a refreshing drink of melon strings, sweet melon juice flavored with calamansi, the Filipino lime and honey. It's a light, easy-to-do beverage or snack. Perfect for summer days or any time of the year. This is an Asian in America recipe. Serves 2
Cantaloupes or melons - 2 whole pieces, sliced, seeded (save the seeds for melon juice)
calamansi juice (or use lemon juice) - 6 Tablespoons frozen concentrate (from Asian groceries)
cold water - 8 cups
granulated sugar - 1/2 cup
honey - 1 Tablespoon
ice cubes - for serving
- Slice open the cantaloupes or melons, set aside the seeds in a separate bowl for later use.
- Scrape the cantaloupe meat into thin, long strips using a Filipino grater (or use a fork).
- Place the cantaloupe or melon strings in a pitcher.
- Put the cantaloupe fruit seeds on a sieve. While pressing against the seeds, pour the cold water over it to extract the essence and melon flavors.
- You should have about 7 to 8 cups of cantaloupe water. Discard the seeds.
- To the cantaloupe water, add the calamansi concentrate, sugar, honey. Mix well to dilute sugar.
- Pour the liquid into the pitcher of cantaloupe strings. Chill for a few hours. Serve chilled with ice cubes in individual parfait glasses.
Cook’s Comments: The calamansi is the Filipino lime. I have used it as an ingredient often. You can buy the frozen calamansi concentrate in Asian groceries or online sources that offer Filipino ingredients. If not convenient, substitute with Meyer lemons and it’s just as delicious.
Elizabeth Ann Quirino, based in New Jersey is a journalist and author of the “How to Cook Philippine Desserts: Cakes and Snacks” Cookbook. She is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and blogs about Filipino home cooking on her site AsianInAmericaMag.com.
More articles by Elizabeth Ann Quirino