It’s the dog days of summer, a time when you often see runners out in the hot sun, slogging along the dusty streets in sweaty shorts with a glazed expression. Those who run marathons and half-marathons are generally forced to do their toughest training during the summer and winter months, as most races tend to take place in fall and spring. So today’s Tipple was inspired by those who are seriously in need of a hydration libation, something to look forward to at the end of a long hot run. Or a swim meet, dance class, surf session, or just a hellish day at the office. We call it The Finish Line.
Based on a classic Mexican agua fresca, this cocktail is instantly refreshing, with or without alcohol, but we like to add some crisp vodka as an end-of-workout reward. Key to its preparation are ice cubes made from coconut water, which pack a healthy punch of electrolytes and potassium. We threw some antioxident-rich blueberries into the ice cube tray with the coconut water; some brands include Vita Coco and Naked, which you can find in the water or juice aisle at the supermarket — but make sure to get coconut water not coconut milk.
The Finish Line
1.5 cups fresh watermelon, cubed
juice of one lime
1 teaspoon light agave nectar
3 fresh mint leaves
4 coconut water cubes (or regular ice cubes if you prefer)
slice of cucumber for garnish (optional)
Put first four ingredients in a blender and purée thoroughly to make an agua fresca. Pour agua fresca into a cocktail shaker with a handful of regular ice cubes and a generous measure of vodka. Shake vigorously. Put coconut water cubes into a glass and strain the agua fresca mixture over them. Garnish with cucumber, kick back, and rest your aching muscles.