Cheers to Watermelon Month
July marks not only the first whole month of summer but also National Watermelon Month! Corn may be the king of summer vegetables, but watermelon takes the crown as the MVP fruit. It’s a light, refreshing fruit packed with flavor and a boost of hydration. Like all classics, sometimes, they need to be overhauled and reimagined in a new way. While many enjoy watermelon by the slice or chunks, blending the fruit unlocks new ways to highlight the flavor. You can use the puree to make watermelon popsicles, smoothies, and cocktails! My favorite melon cocktail to make is a watermelon mint martini.
Watermelon Mint Martini
The classic martini has come a long from a blend of vodka, vermouth, and a garnish of olive. From espresso to apple and even pomegranate varieties, martinis are now flavor-packed! What better way to celebrate two classics than by harmonizing together in a cocktail shaker? A watermelon mint martini is a nod to summer barbecues with a smooth melon flavor, balanced with a light mint accent creating a perfect summer cocktail. Before you start mixing, let’s talk about making mint syrup.
Simple Mint Syrup
Simple syrups can enhance cocktails with not only a touch of sweetness but flavor. A standard base of simple syrup is equal amounts of water and sugar simmered until the sugar dissolves. You can adjust the ratio to your liking for a lighter or sweeter syrup. You can add herbs or fruit for flavor, including a lavender syrup I use in my Empress Gin and Lavender Lemonade. In this case, mint is added and steeped for an hour before straining out. Please refer to the recipe below for complete instructions on making mint syrup! While the syrup chills, you can proceed to puree the watermelon.
Creating Watermelon Puree
While the flavor of watermelon is a summer icon, the fruit’s versatility does not receive praise as often as it should. Watermelon puree is simple to make and can enhance cocktails, smoothies, and even homemade ice pops! All that’s required to make watermelon puree is a blender and a mesh sieve to produce a smoother puree. Best of all, you can use this method with any melon!
After choosing a melon to puree, prepare the fruit by cutting it into one-inch cubes. Should you find any seeds, discard them before pureeing. Once prepared, place the cubes into a blender. Pulse on medium speed for thirty seconds or until no chunks of fruit remain. Place a mesh strainer over a jar and strain the melon puree into the container. If you’d like to repurpose the pulp after filtering, freeze it in an ice cube tray! You can add the frozen puree to frozen margaritas, smoothies, or juice blends. If you wish to make a watermelon mint martini with frozen puree, add a cube of frozen puree to a shaker. Once thawed, add the remaining ingredients and shake to perfection.
Crafting a Perfect Watermelon Martini
After creating your simple syrup and fruit puree, the fun (and easy) part begins! Watermelon puree, vodka, mint syrup, melon liquor, and triple sec blend to create the taste of summer in a glass. It may take a few extra steps than the classic martini, but the flavor of a watermelon mint martini is worth the time spent! The mint syrup tastes fantastic in herbal teas or even drizzled over blueberry muffins! Please see the recipe below for the ingredient amounts and a complete list of steps.
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup mint leaves lightly packed
Watermelon Mint Martini
- 2 oz. Titos
- 2 oz. watermelon Puree
- ½ oz. mint syrup
- ½ oz. triple sec
- ¼ oz. melon liquor
- In a small sauce pan, combine the water and sugar
- Over medium-low heat, warm the syrup until the sugar dissolves.
- Add the mint leaves, and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid
- Steep the syrup for an hour, and strain into a glass to remove the mint leaves.
- Cool completely before adding to cocktails
- Keep the syrup refrigerated in an air tight container up to two weeks.
Matermelon Mint Martini
- In a cocktail shaker, combine the vodka, watermelon puree, mint syrup, triple sec, and melon liquor.
- Top the shaker with ice and cover. Shake vigiruously, and then strain the cocktail into a martini glass.
- Add an optional garnish of watermelon chunk to the rim or a sprig of mint
For the best watermelon mint martini, keep all your ingredients chilled until immediately before mixing, alcohols included! Chilled ingredients prevent the ice added to the cocktail from melting and making a watered-down drink.
If you have leftover mint syrup, it can be refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to two weeks if using a 1-to-1 water-to-sugar ratio. Syrups using two parts sugar and one part water can last refrigerated for up to six months.
The watermelon can last up to three days refrigerated in an air-tight container. If you free either the pulp strained out or the puree, both can last up to six months if frozen in an air-tight container. What are some of your favorite watermelon recipes?