Sweltering heat. Burning humidity. Lazy swimming. Bright red strawberries, refreshing hints of lime. Freshly crushed ice. Strawberry Lime Agua Fresca! It’s only June and I already need a little summer in my glass. In case you haven’t heard, it’s a summer Olympics year….and for whatever reason, the summer Olympics bring Oklahoma the ultimate in horrid heat indexes. Don’t believe me?
Tying for first place as the hottest summer in Oklahoma history is August 2012 and August 1936 with an all-time high temperature of 113° each. 2012’s an easy one – that was the London Olympics where Micheal Phelps historically stole the medal podium becoming the most medaled Olympian of all-time.
This of course ties with the 1936 Nazi Games. (Teehee, isn’t that a movie??) Hosted in Berlin, Germany, the 1936 Olympics would prove to be a year of firsts – the first boycotted Olympics – although to be fair, Berlin was awarded the coveted hosting gig in 1931, two years before what’s his name became Chancellor of the German Reich. ’36 was also the first televised Olympics with much of the footage shot by famed filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl (who, I have to say, is a rather fascinating historical figure in and of herself. She had a natural cinematic eye, but was sort of an odd duck off camera).
Hitler may have seen the 1936 Games as an opportunity to promote Aryan supremacy, but he failed miserably in his messaging thanks to American athlete Jesse Owens who took home 4 gold medals. Showcasing non-Aryan supremacy at it’s finest (Run Jesse Run), Jesse Owens’ victories in Berlin still stands as one of the most powerful Olympic stories of overcoming adversity in the face of outright bigotry. Back on the Oklahoma home front – smoking hot! Just as an FYI, these two years also tie for second place at 112°. So many shades of wrong!
We have a 4-way tie for third place with 110° in the years of 2011, 1936, 1980 (Moscow – uneventful) and 1996. Obviously, I’m going to skip 2011 as it doesn’t support my thesis – my blog, my prerogative! On to the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games where the US Women’s Gymnastic team won US gold thanks to Kerri Strug’s incredible vaulting skills! Kodak moment! I love the Olympics avidly watching every event by splitting my “undivided” attention amongst 18 channels and a DVR. But clearly, we are guaranteed a long, hot summer in the state of Oklahoma…which I don’t so much love!
- 1 punnet (16oz) of strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup of water, depending on thickness
- Crushed ice and lime slices, for serving.
- Hull and quarter the strawberries. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar, stirring to coat, then cover and chill overnight to allow the juices of the strawberries to develop.
- The next morning, add the strawberries, the juice of 1 lime and 1/2 cup of ice cold water to a blender and puree until smooth. Taste for sweetness and thickness.
- Strain over a pitcher and discard the pulp. Let stand for 5 minutes and the strain a second time for a refreshing agua fresca. Chill for 2 hours before serving over crushed ice with fresh lime slices. Ice cold delicious!
- Recipe yields approximately 2 cups of agua fresca...which I am not intending to share. Boom! Serves 1!