Louisa Shafia's Watermelon, Mint, and Cider Vinegar Tonic

By • July 2, 2013 23 Comments

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Author Notes: Even if drinking vinegar sounds like a dare -- and maybe that's why you ordered it -- it's anything but. It's sweet and sour and icy-cold. It vibrates and clangs with fruit and vinegar, and soothes with sweetness and mint. It is the most refreshing drink you will have this summer. And because it's a grown-up drink without alcohol, you can take it on a picnic, at any park, without having to look side-eyed at cops that might pass by. From The New Persian Kitchen (Ten Speed Press, 2013).Genius Recipes

Makes 5 cups concentrate

  • 3 cups water, plus more to serve
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup honey
  • 6 cups coarsely chopped watermelon
  • 1 cup tightly packed fresh mint
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • Ice cubes
  • Sliced watermelon, sliced unwaxed cucumber, and spearmint, for garnish
  1. Bring the 3 cups water and the salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the honey, stir to dissolve, and remove from the heat.
  2. Combine the watermelon and mint in a large bowl. Stir in the honey-water and let cool to room temperature, then add the vinegar. Steep the mixture in the refrigerator for several hours or up to overnight.
  3. Strain the mixture and eat the watermelon chunks, if desired. Pour the concentrate into a clean glass jar, and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  4. To serve, pour 1/4 cup of the concentrate into a glass over ice and dilute with 3/4 cup water. Garnish with the watermelon, cucumber, and mint.

More Great Recipes: Watermelon|Cucumbers|Fruit|Booze-Free Drinks

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Comments (23) Questions (0)


17 days ago M.B.

This is fabulous and refreshing. It mixes well with a nip of vodka and a squeeze of lime. And the leftover watermelon mixed with red onion and pickled jalapenos makes a wonderful salsa!


over 1 year ago Christen

I made this for a wedding shower, since the bride was having stomach issues and we wanted a fun adult drink, without the alcohol and with as much healing power as possible. I didn't tell the guests that of course...and EVERYONE RAVED ABOUT IT. Everyone wanted the recipe and I wish I made twice as much!

It's delicious at full strength, so I adjusted the ratio to 1/2 concentrate, 1/2 plain seltzer water with ice as well. And it was heavenly.


about 2 years ago ashley

Because I have an autoimmune liver disease I cannot drink alcohol anymore. I stumbled upon this recipe yesterday while searching for something not too sweet, unique and grown up tasting to drink with my friends and family while they booze it up. This is it. It's delicious, refreshing and I don't feel like I'm drinking a soda (because I'm not!). Thanks so much for sharing. I'll be making this with various different fruits throughout the year. I (and my liver!) appreciate it so much. :)


about 2 years ago Beth Gerrish Renzetti

This is insanely delicious & refreshing. i usually make mine closer to 50/50 concentrate/water. Heck, I drank some of the concentrate straight up. It's THAT good! Off now to make another batch...


about 2 years ago daisybrain

On my way to bed and I've had a few. I do believe this will be the cure for what ails me. Man that hits the spot.


about 2 years ago aliciaa

The best! I made this for a party in Seattle on a hot summer day and it was the hit of the party. So much nicer than just serving fruit juice or water for a non-alcoholic choice.


about 2 years ago Lyn Crouch

Making my 3rd batch now. Love this as I hate plain water. Very satisfying.


about 2 years ago clintonhillbilly

Just made my first batch-- it's terrifically refreshing, thank you! Any variations with other fruit you suggest?


about 2 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Glad you liked it! Louisa lists a number of variations in the post (linked below). Here's what she said: "Try adding a few slices of ginger, fresh rose petals, or a stalk of crushed lemongrass. Instead of watermelon, try cherries (including sour!), or sliced apricots, peaches, plums, or grapes." http://food52.com/blog...


about 2 years ago debbie cunningham

perhaps this? http://www.foodnetwork...

for pickled peaches


about 2 years ago wcl

YES !!!
this is by far the closest recipe i have ever seen to what i remember.
(i've looked on the internet many times but never came across this one)
now i just have to wait on the peaches to come in up here in canada...


about 2 years ago Auntie Lissa

I increased the watermelon by about 50%, and cut it into small cubes. Then after the time marinating, separated the watermelon/mint mixture into a different bowl, added a little sugar to taste (I'm in the south....) and served as a salad. Sugar wasn't really necessary, depends on how tart you like the fruit as a salad.


about 2 years ago rsfgs

Yum! This was fun to make, and a tasty introduction to shrub style drinks.


about 2 years ago joyce.ciotti

Just made this for tonight's gathering. Yum. This will likely become a traditional July 4th beverage.


about 2 years ago Chescheir

Just made this for the fourth. very refreshing and delicious!


about 2 years ago _lotus

I've got a batch of this steeping in the fridge right now. Can't wait to try it!


about 2 years ago anita wallace

Where did the cucumber garnish come into play?


about 2 years ago ingrid

I really love drinking cider vinegar with honey, specially at the gym. Can´t wait to try this version!


about 2 years ago wcl

I am addicted to apple shrub (grated apple and local raw cider vinegar) in the fall, this sounds like the perfect summer equivalent. We used to eat pickled peaches in South Carolina where i grew up....I'll bet a peach version of this would be sublime...


about 2 years ago karencook

Would love to see a good pickled peach recipe!


about 2 years ago wcl

i've been looking for many years...
my memories are mostly smell and taste. (my aunt lib made them and they were hoarded like gold. when we opened a jar it was like christmas)
i remember the peaches were whole and small (pits in). they were studded with cloves and there was a small stick of cinnamon in each jar. they were sweet and tart, just a perfect balance....OMG i can almost taste them


about 2 years ago LLStone

So excited to try this!