If any drink is identified with the Fourth of July, it’s lemonade. And the best “lemonade” in Texas comes from famously quirky Houston Mexican restaurant Irma’s. This rustic pink refresher is made from fresh fruit— just about every variety in the universe—and while owner Irma N. Galvan’s exact recipe remains a closely guarded secret, she does reveal that it calls for watermelon juice blended with lemon, pineapple, strawberry, cantaloupe, grape, orange, and lime, plus guava, papaya, mango, and honeydew. The flavor is both sublimely tropical and strikingly sweet. As Irma says: “When life gives you extra fruit, make lemonade—every day!” Robin Barr Sussman
Our Approximation of Irma’s Fresh Fruit Lemonade
3 cups watermelon
1 cup pineapple
1 cup strawberries
1 cup cantaloupe
1 cup green or red grapes
3⁄4 cup orange juice (1 large orange)
1⁄2 to 1 cup lemon, lime, or
Mexican lime juice
1⁄2 to 1 cup sugar to taste
Cut fruit into roughly bite-size pieces, then blend each separately with an equal amount of water (strain the pineapple, cantaloupe, and grape juices to make them a bit less cloudy).
Add orange and lemon or lime juices. Add sugar (dissolve it first in a little hot water to reduce stirring time). Add a drop or two of red food coloring if you like, and chill. Feel free to substitute any favorite fruit, and cut some up to float in the lemonade. Makes about 10 cups.
Easier still, just order it to go ($6.50 a half gallon) from Irma’s, 22 N. Chenevert, Houston (713-222-0767).