...or Cooling melon with aloe, bathed in wine. For an alfresco drink, I have experimented with Hami melon and aloe in a cool white wine bath infused with mint and pineapple sage. Having recently made a wonderful blueberry and aloe lassi, I had a huge piece of aloe remaining. It offers both a thirst quenching dimension and an aid to digestion. This recipe makes a cooling summer drink you can pack up to enjoy outdoors, or just pour from a chilled pitcher anywhere. —Sagegreen
one inch squares of aloe
raw agave nectar, to taste, possibly more
juice of 2 limes
zest from half a lime
cups of bite-sized diced light melon such as Hami
sprigs of fresh spearmint, divided
sprigs of pineapple sage or comparable herb, divided
To prepare the aloe slice about four one inch segments from a large aloe leaf. Cut off the green sides, top and bottom to reveal the clear gel in the center. See photo. Rinse off the sticky gel in cool water to make sure there is no yellow secretion on the gel. Place this in a blender with the lime juice, agave, and zest. If you have any reserve juice from the melon add this as well. Puree this combination. Then stir some of the wine and pour into a glass pitcher (or large glass pan). Pour in the rest of the wine.
Add the diced melon pieces to the glass pitcher. Taste this and add more agave if this is not sweet enough for you. Divide the herbal sprigs: Bruise half of the herbs and put them in the pitcher. Reserve the other half for garnish.
Cover and chill for half a day or overnight.
Pack mason-like jars with the melon pieces, dividing the amount among them. Remove the herbs at this point. Their flavors have already imbued the liquid. Dividing the amount equally, pour the liquid over the fruit in each jar. Seal up for travel, if needed; pack in ice to keep cool. If traveling, to pack up the herbs, wet a paper towel, then wring it out. Roll and wrap fresh herbs in the moist paper towel; seal in a jar or baggie.
To serve, open each jar and add sprigs of fresh herbs. Serve with spoons or toothpicks. Sip happily.