Summer is drawing to a close here in the Midwest.
There is a chill in the air, and I am feeling less sticky and humid and more nostalgic about long, warm evenings on the patio. So before I unpack my boxes of sweaters, boots and parkas, I make a herculean effort to pack in all the summer fun (and food) that I can before the season turns.
I concocted this Gin & Watermelon Cocktail as a result of an overabundance (if there can be such a thing) of the most gorgeous watermelons you have ever seen! Watermelon puree makes a wonderful, light and refreshing base for cocktails, and is enhanced by the fresh tarragon. A little lemonade adds a touch of acidity.
Although the drink would taste fine made with vodka, I am very fond of gin here because of the fresh herbs, although admittedly a slightly less botanical (i.e. pineneedle-y) gin works best. I used Millers, but Plymouth would also be nice, or even a little Hendricks, with its rose and cucumber undertones. The elderflower liqueur (my favorite, in small quantities) adds that slightly floral, warm weather, summertime in a glass note. (If you don’t have elderflower liqueur on hand, feel free to substitute triple sec!)
To make the cocktail, puree approximately one cup of watermelon chunks and set aside. Muddle the tarragon with the gin (or vodka if you must) in a cocktail shaker. Add the remaining ingredients, and set sit for a minute to let the flavors blend. Add ice to the cocktail shaker, and shake vigorously. Strain into two old fashioned coupe glasses. I love the coupes, and although they can be difficult to locate new, they are easy to find (and cheap) at garage sales and antique stores. (That said, martini glasses will work just as well!)
If you’re looking for another way to enjoy the final days of summer using watermelon, try my Watermelon Basil Martini Jelly Shots.
Enjoy! Cheers and XO,
Michelle Palm created the Jelly Shot Test Kitchen blog after discovering a lack of cocktail-style jelly shot recipes. Look for her posts here, and check her Tablespoon member profile often to see what she’s already gelled up!