A drink that is low in added sugar but with plenty of fresh fruit and pure water? That's what makes up this ingenious and incredibly refreshing rockmelon or cantaloupe drink! Originally a Filipino recipe, a melon scraper makes ribbons out of the flesh of the rockmelon and you also make use of the seeds as well as the super soft and candy sweet membrane. It transforms overnight into the most refreshing drink for summer! Especially now as melons are at their sweetest and best.
I've always said that my readers are the best - certainly whenever I talk to journalists and they lament their newspaper's comment section I find that I have touch wood nothing to complain about at all. But when I went to the post this month I was so overcome with gratitude at how lovely my readers are. One day I received a beautiful hand written thank you card from Sammie from The Annoyed Thyroid who is an absolutely delightful and kind hearted blogger who has featured me on her blog several times. Along with Sammie's card, I also received another package. It was from a Dear Reader called Kate Slik. She had asked me on twitter if I had ever tried a Filipino rockmelon or cantaloupe drink.
I hadn't even heard of this drink before, that's how ignorant I was. What it is, is a drink that makes use of the seeds, membrane and flesh of a rockmelon. Kate explained that you wash the seeds and soft membrane (the softest, sweetest bit) with water and then make ribbons out of the rockmelon flesh by using a melon scraper that has six little holes at the top (you can also use a fork, in a pinch)! A little bit of magic occurs when you chill it overnight as it turns sweeter and brighter in colour! And this is coming from a person who doesn't even like rockmelon lol :)
A few weeks ago I put up a recipe for lamb raan. I had bought a 200 gram bag of Maldive Fish for it but only needed 5 grams or around a teaspoon of it. I asked readers if they had any suggestions and then the lovely Romany sent me ten recipes along with a handmade and hand written card with an image of Sri Lanka. It was such a lovely gesture!
With these lovely packages in the mail, it just reaffirmed that my readers really are the sweetest! And now I have a new drink obsession to help me get through the hot days. I was so smitten when I tried this rockmelon juice that I even made a little video showing you how to make it. I hope you love the natural sweetness and flavour as much as I did!
So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever tried this drink before? What is your favourite type of juice or juice combo?
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella
"Melon" or Rockmelon/Cantaloupe Drink
Preparation time: 5 minutes plus overnight steeping time
- 1 rockmelon/cantaloupe
- 750ml/3 cups water
- Melon scraper tool or fork*
- 2 tablespoons honey or icing sugar (or sweetener of your choice)
*Melon scraper tools can be found at Filipino stores. I rang around to a dozen in Sydney and most of them were sold out except for Masagana Oriental Variety Store at 13 Charlotte St, Ashfield NSW, phone:(02) 9798 2932. They are $2.50 each and really worth buying because it makes the whole process a breeze! My Microplane ribbon grater also worked but it took longer and wasn't as fun. I found that a citrus zester didn't work and a spiraliser made it a bit mushy.
Step 1 - Cut rockmelon in half. Scrape out the seeds and all of the soft, sweet membrane and place in a fine sieve set over a large bowl. You want to scoop out every bit of the soft membrane flesh as the scraper cannot scrape soft flesh into ribbons. Pour half of the water over the membrane and seeds - you want to "wash" the seeds and membrane with your hands or a spoon. Keep adding water and squeezing it until what mostly remains is the seeds.
Step 2 - Use the ribboning tool to scrape the orange flesh. Do not use the green flesh as this is bitter. Place the ribbons into the bowl along with the rockmelon water. Add the sweetener (I used honey) and stir well. Refrigerate at least overnight (please don't be tempted to drink it now, it really is a pale imitation of itself at this stage and needs time to develop sweetness and color). It is best served as chilled as possible.
Tip: Can be made with honeydew melon too