Refreshing drink for a hot Labor Day

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Despite what the astrological calendar tells us, summer comes to an end with Labor Day weekend.

And, if you follow the meteorological calendar — which actually reflects the seasons more accurately — summer came to a close on Monday (Aug. 31).

So let’s have a last summer sip!

In Chicago it’s supposed to be hot and humid and then even hotter and more humid on this holiday, so staying hydrated is very important.

On days like this, I always turn to my go-to hot weather foods and beverages: tuna fish, celery, watermelon, lemonade as well as water, water and more water.

Here’s a nice drink from the Watermelon Board. It combines two of those summer favorites: watermelon and lemonade. It’s easy to increase the ingredients to serve a larger crowd if need be.

Drink up, it’s gonna be hot out there!

CHUNKY WATERMELON LEMONADE

MAKES 2-3 SERVINGS

2 cups water

⅓ cup raw sugar (or to taste)

2 cups seedless watermelon puree

1 fresh lemon, sliced thinly

¼ cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups seedless watermelon flesh (optional for the “chunky” part)

In a half-gallon pitcher with lid, mix 1 cup of the water with the sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir in the rest of the water, watermelon puree, sliced lemon, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Stir to mix well and chill thoroughly.

For the chunky watermelon lemonade, stir in the 2 cups of chopped watermelon at the end.

From the Watermelon Board

PHOTO: COURTESY WATERMELON BOARD

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