In the spirit of the upcoming Independence Day holiday, I have made you two patriotically red drinks! Okay, that’s a lie. I commissioned Robby, whose creativity and capacity to enjoy cocktails are magnitudes higher than mine, to make something. He used watermelon, that quintessential summer fruit, and created TWO beautiful pink cocktails.
I follow bloggers all over the country and am fascinated by how different the climates are. In Maine, 80F is considered HOT and everyone lies around in the shade panting. In Minnesota, summers are like jewels of perfect weather where everyone is outside all the time before it starts snowing again. And here in Florida, we fork over for electricity to keep the AC running and spend as much time as we can at the beach. And by that I mean beaches on oceans. Side effect of living on a peninsula: I don’t really trust lake “beaches.” Sure, there’s sand, but where’s the salt water?
Regardless of what your summer looks like, I hope you get to spend some of it outside, and I hope you find yourself drinking these gorgeous watermelon cocktails. If you find yourself in need of a non-boozy drink, try this agua fresca from a favorite blogger.
Watermelon Cocktail Notes
To make fresh watermelon juice, blend chunks of (seedless!) watermelon. Strain through a fine mesh strainer; if the pulp starts to build up in the strainer, squish it through with a muddler. We found that a quart of pre-cut watermelon produced roughly 15 ounces of liquid.
Silver tequila is a type has not been aged. It’s clear (silver! get it?) because it hasn’t absorbed flavor from oak barrels.
(That is the face of a man who is very serious about his watermelon cocktail. Also whose wife keeps forgetting to give him a haircut.)
If, like me, you are not well versed in cocktail terminology, here’s a couple tips. “Shake over ice” means to fill the tin half of a cocktail shaker with ice, build the cocktail in the glass half, pour over the ice, and shake. “Double-strain” means to strain through both a circular strainer that fits in the mouth of the cocktail shaker, as well as through a fine wire mesh strainer. This ensures that all of the watermelon fibers are caught and your drink is smooth.
We made these and set them aside while we ate dinner. When we came back, the watermelon garnishes were veeeery boozy. If that’s a thing you like, reserve some extra watermelon in a bowl and pour a bit of cocktail over. They’ll be supercharged with alcohol–uh, flavor–when you get around to eating them.
Note on garnishes: I wanted to put a cute straw in the mason jar, but was told that one does not drink gin through a straw. One may not, but maybe you do! Put it on Instagram and tag me! I won’t judge.
3 ounces fresh watermelon juice
2 ounces silver tequila
1 1/2 ounces orange liqueur (like Grand Marnier)
Juice of 1 lime
4 ounces watermelon juice
1 1/2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1/2 ounce Pimm's No. 1
1/2 ounce lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
1/4 ounce Benedictine
Dash of Angostura bitters
Combine watermelon juice, tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice into a cocktail shaker. Shake over ice, and strain into chilled margarita glass.
Top with rosé wine. Garnish with lime wheel and piece of watermelon.
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake over ice, and double-strain through a fine mesh strainer. Garnish with lime wheel.