I bought two large cantaloupes yesterday intending to enjoy them a la agua fresca over the weekend. I was, however, browsing through Raymund’s Ang Sarap site today and saw a version of melon juice with added milk. Sweet cantaloupe shreds in a rich, creamy liquid sounded so refreshingly delicious, I hastily read his recipe and proceeded to make myself a big pitcher right there and then. I set up my prepared drink on ice, impatiently snapped a few photos and then excitedly rushed to our backyard patio to lazily lounge the rest of the afternoon and enjoy every drop of my summer chiller. I took one highly-anticipated sip and…aaccckk! The darn thing was bitter as heck! Ok, I exaggerate. It was not like ampalaya bitter but still discernible enough to ruin the whole experience for me.
What did I do wrong? I checked the can of condensed milk I used. No, not expired. Was the cantaloupe not ripe? Nope, the one I used and the one left on my kitchen counter were both deep orange, soft and super sweet. What could have possibly caused the unpleasant taste? Well, if I read Raymund’s post well and fully, I would have known that melons have chemical properties that react with milk. Since I took a few minutes to take pictures, whatever chemical compounds there are in the melons had time to break down the proteins in the milk and thus, the acridness. Oh thank you, my lucky stars, I had one fruit left! I assembled the cantaloupe juice again but this time, I just stirred a tablespoon or two of condensed milk into each glass right when I was ready to drink it. Other than the prior mishap, this melon chiller proved everything I hoped it to be-sweet and creamy and perfect for hot summer days. Enjoy!
- 1 large cantaloupe
- 4 cups cold water
- 1 14 ounces condensed milk
Cut melons into half. With a spoon, scrape seeds and pulp. Place pulp and seeds in bowl, add 1 cup of the water and repeatedly press down with the back of spoon to extract flavor. In a fine mesh sieve, strain. Discard seeds and reserve the juice.
Using a melon shredder, shred cantaloupe meat. In a pitcher, combine shredded cantaloupe, the reserved juice (from straining pulp) and the remaining 3 cups water.
Add condensed milk and stir to disperse. Serve in glasses over ice. Consume immediately.