Watermelon, Lime, Basil, and Mint Makes the Gin Stevie "Summer in a Glass"
by Steve Schul, Cocktail Buzz
just love watermelon at its peak during the summer, when one bite into a
slice sends pink juice dripping down your chin. When its sweetness
reminds you instantly how much you loved it last summer. I definitely
wanted to make a cocktail with watermelon, but in a way I had never
heard of before. My inspiration came from an old Imbibe Magazine recipe
for Watermelon-Sake Popsicles. What overgrown child doesn't love an
ice-cold popsicle on a hot summer's day, and if it's watermelon, even
better. And with sake? Well hip, hip hoorah.
I think we all get
crazy for watermelon in the summertime because of the uniqueness of its
sweetness. Sure, its texture is unmatched by any other fruit I can think
of, the slightly rough structure that collapses with just a little
pressure, shooting forth a big burst of honeysweet goodness. So I
decided to make ice cubes inspired by the popsicles, plop some of those
into a tall glass, and tickle the cubes with the herbaceous tastes of
basil and spearmint, and anoint with a generous portion of Hendrick's
gin, graced by lovely cucumber and rose notes. With each sip, the
watermelon-sake ice cubes slowly melt, and with each consecutive sip,
you are taken on a journey from tart booziness to slushy sweetness. I
know that to make these drinks requires a little effort beyond regular
mixing skills, but do believe me when I say they will delight all the
guests at your cocktail party. Make sure you have plenty of everything
so that each person gets at least two drinks, three for the heavy
Paul and I love to pair our Gin Stevies with another
summertime favorite - heirloom tomatoes. We dice them and dollop generous
portions on freshly toasted baguette to create the perfect bruschetta.
Take a bite, and follow with a generous sip of this tall summer cooler
bursting with flavor.
(created by Cocktail Buzz)
2 ounces gin (we like Hendrick's for this)
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
5 spearmint leaves
5 basil leaves
1/2 ounce simple syrup
3-4 watermelon-sake ice cubes (see below for recipe)
splash of soda
spearmint sprig, as garnish
a highball glass gently muddle lime juice, simple syrup, and leaves.
Add chilled gin, watermelon-sake ice cubes, and soda. Stir. Garnish with
sprig. Add a straw.
Watermelon-sake ice cubes
4-lb. seedless watermelon, cut into cubes
1 ounce fresh lime juice
Up to 1 cup sugar (depending on sweetness of watermelon)
180 ml bottle sparkling sake
first 3 ingredients to a bowl for at least 15 minutes and up to several
days. Transfer contents of bowl to a blender and puree until chunks are
broken down. Stir in sake. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze until
ready to use.
Makes up to 8 dozen cubes. (It may sound like a lot, but trust us, you'll be much happier with lots in your freezer.
- 3-4 large heirloom tomatoes
- baguette or other loaf of bread
- garlic clove, cut or smashed
- salt and pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small red jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
baguette on an angle into half-inch-thick slices. (If you are using a
wider loaf, make sure you cut the slices so that they are about 3-4 in.
by 2 in., or thereabouts.) Toast on a grill for a few minutes. You
should see grill marks when you flip the slices. Rub with garlic. Flip.
If you don't think you toasted the first side enough, rub the second
side with garlic as well, and flip again. Make sure to watch you bread
carefully so the slices do not burn. Remove from heat and place on a
Meanwhile, quickly chop ripe tomatoes into quarter-inch
cubes (or half-inch, depending on how you like the texture). Dollop
tomato cubes generously on each slice of toasted bread. Salt and pepper,
to taste. Sprinkle with jalapeños. Drizzle with olive oil.
Makes about 3 dozen.
photo © Steve Schul, Cocktail Buzz