Today we’ll be discussing two of my favorite words in the English language: drink and summer. You see, my days of closing down the bar have come and gone (apparently along with sleeping in past 6am, and having a full head of hair). And while I love a good nightcap as much as the next guy, I’m a day drinker at heart. Set me out back in a hammock on a warm summer day, ballgame on the radio, and a cocktail in hand, and I’m one happy camper. Extra points if that cocktail has pickled watermelon rind, fresh herbs, and sotol!! Well, what do you know, that’s exactly what I’m mixing up for you today. If you couldn’t already tell, today we’re celebrating #drinkthesummer 2016 (links below), where dozens of creative imbibers are offering an abundance of seasonal drink recipes that showcase summer’s bounty in lovely liquid form. No disrespect to the stone fruits and the berries out there, but summer is all about watermelon in our house. Here, sweet watermelon juice and agave are countered with tart bursts of pickled rind and lime. A chiffonade of fresh mint and cilantro add depth, all punctuated by a nice earthy sotol . . . perfect for summer sipping if you ask me! Again, don’t forget to check out all the other yummy summer drink links below. A special thanks to Sherrie from With Food + Love for organizing!!
WATERMELON, FRESH HERBS, & SOTOL COCKTAIL
For the cocktail
- 2 oz sotol
- 3/4 oz lime juice
- 1/2 oz light agave syrup
- 2 oz watermelon juice
- 6 pieces pickled watermelon rind
- 1 mint sprig, de-stemmed and chiffonaded
- 2 cilantro sprigs, de-stemmed and chiffonaded
For the pickled watermelon rind
- 1 inch stick of ginger, peeled
- 1 star anise
- rind + 1/2 inch of red flesh from half of a small watermelon
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons salt
For the pickled watermelon rind
- Start by cutting the rind off of the watermelon. Try your best to leave some some of the red flesh on the rid. Carefully remove the green skin from the rind, then cut the rind into 3/4 inch chunks.
- Add the ginger, star anise, sugar, vinegar, water, and salt to a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add the watermelon rind and simmer for about a minute.
- Remove from heat and add to a heat-proof container to cool. Once cool, seal and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving, and up to one week.
For the cocktail
- Add the ciffonade of mint and cilantro, pickled watermelon rind, lime juice, agave syrup, and sotol to the bottom of a mixing glass. Top with ice and quickly shake for 5 seconds.
- Pour the entire contents of the shaker into a highball glass. Add watermelon juice, and top with more ice as needed.
DRINK THE SUMMER 2016 PARTY PEOPLE:
BOOZYWith Food + Love | Basil Fig Vodka SmashA Little Saffron | Beach Bum’s RumA Thought For Food | Tarragon Tequlia Swizzle
Downshiftology | Limoncello Prosecco with Blueberries and ThymeHeart of a Baker | Green Tea Mint CoolerHungry Girl por Vida | Whisky Peach AlexanderThe Green Life | Spiced Plum, Fig & Kombucha CocktailHummingbird High | Watermelon and Mint Agua FrescaFloating Kitchen | Peach Sun Tea and Bourbon CocktailBeard and Bonnet | Melon MojitoEGD | Backyard Peach Sweet Tea
Appeasing a Food Geek | Basil and Black Pepper Gin SourVegetarian Ventures | Garden Tonic Punch
Nosh and Nourish | Mango Margaritas with Chile Lime Salted RimsDomesticate ME! | Watermelon-Basil Mezcal MargaritaThe Foodie Nurse | Husk Cherry Margaritamy name is yeh | Choose Your Own Adventure Bloody MarysSevengrams | Cucumber, Gin and Chartreuse CocktailWicked Spatula | Coconut Gin and TonicEat Boutique | Sbagliatos and Homemade Sweet VermouthNutritionist in the Kitch | Healthy Muddled Blackberry Pina ColadasChocolate + Marrow | Pequito VerdecitoThe Solstice Table | Jalapeno Watermelon CoolerHonestlyYUM | Watermelon, Fresh Herbs, & Sotol CocktailSeasonal Cravings | Strawberry Lime Gin RickeySalted Plains | Frozen Honeydew DaiquirisThe Broken Bread | Honeydew-Ginger Apricot MojitosFix Feast Flair | Ginger-Berry Splash CocktailTurntable Kitchen | Summer Cooler Cocktails, Two WaysFoolproof Living | Blueberry, Dark Cherry and Calvados CocktailDessert for Two | Salty Melon SlushMilly’s Kitchen | Golden Watermelon Cocktail with Ginger, Basil + Tequila
NOT BOOZYHeartbeet Kitchen | Salty Watermelon Shrub ElixirTENDING the TABLE | Raspberry and Fig Hibiscus CoolerSnixy Kitchen | Lavender Earl Gray Blackberry Ice Cream FloatsThe Bojon Gourmet | Vanilla Rooibos Peach Ice Cream FloatsGratitude and Greens | Hong Kong Style Crushed Watermelon IceMy Heart Beets | Spiced Pistachio Shakerooting the sun | Strawberry Fennel SodaThe Modern Proper | Vanilla Bean Plum ShrubFeed Me Phoebe | Watermelon-Cucumber Kombucha CoolersGourmande in the Kitchen | Stone Fruit Thyme Shrub Sodadolly and oatmeal | Cold-Brewed Shiso & Hibiscus Tea Iced Lattehappy hearted kitchen | Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Fennel, Orange + CardamomI am a Food Blog | Cherry Vanilla SodasTasty Yummies | Fig Vanilla Bean Almond MilkLet’s talk evergreen | Iced Earl Grey Yuanyang With a Hint of RoseKale & Caramel | Emerald Beaut Green SpritzerEarthy Feast | Watermelon Hibiscus Agua FrescaNow, Forager | Sparkling Plumcot and Purple Basil ShrubsThe Pig & Quill | Brown Sugar Blueberry Pie ShakesWell and Full | Peach Bubble TeaSweetish Co | The Best Frozen Hot Chocolateholly & flora | Spiced Pineapple Shrub Sparklers with Black Tea + Coconut
(images by HonestlyYUM; pickled watermelon rind recipe adapted from Momofuku)