Summer solstice is right around the corner, and if you are looking for the perfect refreshments to share with your friends, this bee balm, mint, and melon infused water won’t disappoint. It’s very simple to make, but is full of flavor (and flair) to take your summer revelry to the next level.
Bee balm and peppermint pair with cucumber and watermelon to create a refreshing infused water that you will want to make again and again during the summer months when your herbs are in bloom. This recipe calls for fresh peppermint and bee balm, which means you will need to have them growing in your garden to take advantage of this seasonal recipe.
Thankfully, both of them grow abundantly and with very little care once they are established in your garden. In fact, some people think these herbs cross the line and can be considered pests in the garden. If you’re worried, plant them in pots where their roots can be easily contained and prevented from spreading. Or - make more infused water!
Summer Herbal Perks
Peppermint is a cooling herb that can really help you beat the heat - especially when paired with watermelon. This herb has a familiar taste that needs no description, but you may not be as familiar with peppermint’s distant relative, bee balm. Most often described as somewhat sweet, with hints of oregano and bergamot citrus, this herb has a unique flavor all its own.
As a matter of fact, bee balm comes in two varieties. Monarda didyma has a red flower, while M. fistulosa has lavender colored blooms. There are many garden cultivars that exist as well, with blooms of every shade of red, lavender, and pink. Although the two original species should be sought if you want the most potent herbal preparations, for this recipe it is fine to use any cultivar of either species with a pleasing aroma.
Bee balm blossoms are stunning and quintessentially summer, which makes them perfect for celebratory summer solstice libations. Read on for the recipe!
Recipe for Bee Balm, Mint, and Melon Infused Water
3 quarts filtered water
1 cup watermelon, cut in small pieces
10 bee balm leaves (fresh)
10 mint leaves (fresh)
Sprigs of mint and bee balm flowers for garnish.
How to Make
1.Pour 3 quarts of filtered water into a pitcher.
2. Roughly chop the bee balm and mint leaves and add them to the pitcher.
3. Add the watermelon to the pitcher and stir well.
4. Cover the pitcher and transfer to the fridge for at least 30 minutes before straining and serving.
5. Sweeten with a touch of honey or stevia if desired.
6. Add a few sprigs of peppermint to the serving glasses for garnish, and add a few bee balm flowers to the pitcher for decoration. You can leave the flowers on the stem with the leaves or take them off and add the flowers by themselves.
The instructions here are for an herb and fruit infused water, but you could also turn this into a delicious agua fresca if your palate is more adventurous. For a more fruity, more traditional take on agua fresca, blend the melon, herbs, and water together in a blender (up to 4 cups melon per three cups of water), allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, and strain through cheesecloth before serving.