I have decided that I need to quit worrying about this summer that isn’t and instead embrace the days that show any sort of summertime characteristic. Today was one of those days. I woke to clear skies and warm (enough) temperatures to keep the doors and windows open most of the day. Of course I’m lucky since the back of my house faces south and so even with a little sunshine it’s easy to imagine it’s warmer than it really is.
With the long days we have at this time of year, I like to take as much advantage of the sun on the deck as I possibly can. As I finished up my work for the day I remembered that I had a couple of small watermelons in the refrigerator. What screams summer more than watermelon? Not much really. So I set about making a refreshing beverage to enjoy out on that sunny deck.
I’ve made watermelon-based cocktails in the past and have a few favorites like this Watermelon and Rose Water Cocktail, but today I decided to just wing it and pull together something simple and basic.
I started by making watermelon juice or puree. I cut a small (personal-size, like a Dulcinea) watermelon into quarters. Besides being small, these watermelons have the advantage of being seedless. Holding 1/4 over my blender container I scooped the flesh into it. I used this method to capture the liquid from the melon. If you choose to use a cutting board try to capture as much liquid as possible and add it to the blender along with the pulp. I put two quarters in my blender at a time and then blended the pulp on high until it was quite watery and no solid pieces remained.
I wanted to keep a little of the watermelon texture so I strained the liquid through a chinois to catch any large pieces of pulp. If you don’t have a chinois a regular strainer will do, you’ll just lose a little more of the watermelon.
At this point the watermelon juice or puree can be used to make agua fresca, a refreshing Mexican fresh fruit beverage. But I wanted something a little more potent. So I used the puree in this basic cocktail recipe.
- 2 oz Watermelon juice (as made above)
- 1 oz Fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 2 – 3 oz Chilled vodka
- 1 tsp superfine sugar or simple syrup
Add all ingredients to an ice-filled shaker. Shake vigorously for about 1 minute until the ingredients are thoroughly chilled.
Pour into a chilled martini-style glass. Enjoy!
You may need to adjust the lime juice and sugar based on the sweetness of the watermelon and your personal taste.
I made this again a couple days later and added a little mint to the shaker. It really brightness to the drink.