In the spirit of the weekend, I thought I would share a nice summery beverage that should be enjoyed properly outside on a patio with a slight breeze (or a patio ceiling fan, or a child hired to fan you with a palm frond, etc) while socializing with a group of friends, or maybe just enjoying your own company in a state of calm. It combines one of summertime's signature fruits - watermelon; with one of summertime's signature vegetables- cucumbers; AND it's a lovely reddish pink color to uphold the patriotic aspect of the weekend.
While it does require a little bit of prep work to be made 'properly', I found that I was able to do a little cheat that got me to the end result without one bit of embarrassment when served. If I were hosting an exceptionally elegant luncheon with proper linen towels and the company silver then maybe I would put in the extra effort, but until then, I'd totally recommend my little cheat.
Light, flavorful and summer-y.
2 oz. Square One Cucumber vodka
1 1/2 oz. watermelon juice*
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz. organic agave nectar (or to taste)
5 sprigs of mint
(Credit: Allison Evanow)
Remove leaves from all but one sprig of mint, reserving that sprig for garnish. Place mint leaves and agave nectar in a cocktail shaker and muddle for 15 seconds. Add ice, vodka, watermelon juice and lemon juice and shake for 15 seconds. Strain the liquid into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a mint leaf.
* Watermelon juice - Take one cup cut watermelon and place in blender. Blend on high until pureed. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain mixture into a glass or bowl. Discard remaining solids from strainer. Will yield enough juice for 4 cocktails.
So, that is the proper way to make the drink, watermelon juice included, though if you're like me you realized that the drink might not ever be made if you had to strain watermelon. Because I thought this sounded so good, and I happened to have watermelon that I didn't care to blend and then strain, I just chose to muddle the watermelon with the mint and agave in a separate step. I found that this little shortcut worked out lovely for my current needs.