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Cover: Shaken and stirred

Recipes with limes

14Jul 12

Watermelon Sangria

Watermelon SangriaI told you about my first trip to Spain when I was 19. Well, last summer I returned to visit a friend’s son who is studying history at Granada University. On arrival, I was met by 10 jolly looking fellows who all had glasses in their hands. It was Friday evening, and they had decided to make a huge sangria in my honour. But not the classic sangria – rather, watermelon sangria! Today, I want to tell you about this drink, which is an ideal choice for an evening on the porch with friends.

As I´ve mentioned, sangria normally consists of a bottle of cheap red wine, chopped fruit, and a sweetener. This particular version I discovered on my last trip is a bit different and made specifically to bring out the flavour of the watermelon, which was excellent!

As the guest of honour, I was enlightened with the recipe of the sangria the merry young men had concocted, which I want to share with you. They also brought Spanish potato omelette for me to try – it is a typical “tapa”. If you visit Spain, don’t leave without trying some!

Just one piece of advice on the sangria: the amount of spirits added into the mix is up to the person making it. I share the measurements we used, but those amounts are open to interpretation. And that is exactly what makes it dangerous, especially in the company of 10 students on a Friday evening.

Watermelon Sangria
Recipe type: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
A fruity twist on the classic sangria
  • 1 bottle of dry white wine
  • 1 kilo of watermelon, cubed and deseeded
  • 3 limes, chopped
  • 10cl rum (Brugal is a good choice.)
  • 8cl citrusy syrup
  • 10cl triple sec
  • Abundant Ice
  1. Mix the white wine with the fruit in a 1 litre pitcher, and let it sit for a full day in a refrigerator to allow time for the fruit flavours to blend with the wine.
  2. Add ice, rum, syrup and triple sec, stirring it together well.
  3. Serve in tall glasses with good company.

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05Jun 12


CaipirinhaToday, I want to share my favourite beach drink with you; it goes hand-in-hand with a country which I dream of and cherish as one of the highlights of my travels: Brazil. The drink is called ‘Caipirinha’, and to me it closes the circle round a perfect afternoon at a Brazilian beach bar, while contemplating the ocean or chatting with the locals.

The secret to a good Caipirinha, as a Rastafarian barman told me while making me one at Praia Do Amor (the Beach of Love) just outside Pipa in the North of Brazil, is to choose the right cachasa and limes. Cachasa is a fire water, and is basically made with cane sugar plants and a very simple distilation process. Thus, there are many Brazilians who make their own cachasa. Limes are grown and exported from Brazil to the rest of the world, and are for this reason delicious and very cheap in the country. One word of advice: do not, please, ever try and make a Caipirinha with lemons; the taste is horrible and it does not remind you of the ocean.

That night in Brazil I went to bed with the Rastafarian barman’s words circling in my head: ‘a good drink must never be short of the three things for which the Caipirinha is renowned: a little sweetness, a citric touch and a wonderful sense of freshness’.

So, If you want to surprise your friends with a different evening drink, make them Caipirinha and you will notice their hips starting to move as if they were actually Brazilians!


  • 4.5 cl Cachaça Fire Water (ask in your local Latin American store)
  •  2 limes cut into quarters
  • 3 generous spoonfuls of sugar
  • crushed ice

How it’s made:

  1. Put limes and sugar in a mortar.
  2. Crush the two ingredients until the limes have lost most of their juice, but never remove them. (This is an important part of making Caipirinhas, you must leave the limes in.)
  3. Add Cachasa and mix for a minute inside the mortar and then put in a cocktail shaker with crushed ice until it is half full. Shake thoroughly for a minute and then pour into a short whisky glass. (Caipirinhas are not served in cocktail glasses.) It looks good, and you get to drink plenty of them!
  4. For the final touch, add two straws and enjoy the evening and the hip movement!

Time: 5 minutes

Makes: 1 Cocktail

Note: If you like lime in your drink, have a look at these other “love potions” for more cocktail ideas.

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