I love watermelon season. Juicy and sweet, few things are as refreshing as a perfectly ripe watermelon. Likewise, few drinks can match the cooling effect of a cocktail boasting the addition of fresh watermelon. Just for fun, try adding watermelon to a Mojito, substitute for cherry in an Old-Fashioned, or swap it into a margarita instead of using simple syrup. That brings me to my next point: I have yet to find a base spirit that didn’t pair incredibly well with a few muddled chunks of this bright red delicious fruit. That being said, finding a balance between single malt scotch and watermelon may prove challenging for beginners.
In addition to it’s versatility, another huge draw to using watermelon is the nostalgia factor. Most of us have fond childhood memories of eating watermelon by the pool, at a cookout, on the beach, or even after little league football games. It’s a beautiful cocktail indeed that can bring back memories of a simpler time, encouraging, if only for an instant, warm memories and happy thoughts.
With that said, here is my favorite watermelon cocktail, followed by a few more recipes, just for fun.
5-6 cubes fresh watermelon, each about .5 inch
.5 ounce fresh sour mix – equal parts lemon juice, sugar, and hot water, mixed and then chilled.
.5 ounce Green Chartreuse
1.5 ounce New Amsterdam Gin
1 mint sprig
Muddle the watermelon with the sour mix in a shaker tin.
Add ice, the Chartreuse and the Gin.
Shake vigorously and then empty the contents into a tumbler.
Enjoy somewhere near or in the water.
For those of you that don’t drink gin:
1. You can always just sub in an equal amount of vodka.
2. Get over it! Not all gin is as harsh as that crap you drank in college.
One of the reasons I chose New Amsterdam as my gin is because I really love it. Another reason is that it’s a a relatively inexpensive yet quality gin. If you’ve got money burning a hole in your pocket and your interested in experimenting with a more expensive product, I highly recommend Hendrick’s Small Batch Gin. The cucumber notes are perfect for the season and for the cocktail.