When the heat of summer hits, there is nothing quite like this Fresh Watermelon Martini to help you through the dog days of summer. Cold, light and so refreshing, it’s one of my favorite summer sippers.
Although this recipe for a Fresh Watermelon Martini Cocktail calls for orange liqueur, I’ve included a bit of Limoncello in this cocktail. Traditionally I use the orange liqueur but when you’ve made your own Limoncello…well, can you blame me? The watermelon I got was so tiny and so ripe that any addition of simple syrup would have been overkill.
Still, use your own judgement, if you need a bit more sweetener go ahead and add some simple syrup (boil equal amounts of sugar and water until the sugar dissolves and then cool). I like all of my drinks a bit on the tart side but I have friends who go sweeter; a quick dose or two of simple syrup makes those variances easy to prepare.
Like many cocktails that include a seasonal fruit, this one requires patience. Patience as in, don’t be fooled by watermelons that are in the market in May. Getting a fresh local fruit in July can make all the difference.
I’m posting this early so that planners can put it on their calendar but I strongly suggest you hold off actually making it until watermelon month in July; when fresh, juicy, sweet watermelons are at their peak.
How to determine if you have found a great watermelon? These are some good indicators:
- Find the field spot, it should be a yellowish creamy color on the outside where the watermelon was resting on the ground.
- Pick a dull looking watermelon; shiny melons are not yet ripe.
- Knock on it with your knuckles; the surface should be hard/firm. A dull thud indicates the flesh inside is getting soft…put that one back!
- Get the heaviest one for its size; water is heavy and a lot of water in a watermelon is a good indicator!
- Check for uniform shape – round or oval is fine…but irregular edges might indicate an inconsistent water source
If you saw my recent post for a Lemon Drop Martini (if not, go there…the best I’ve ever had!) than you know I’m enamored with these sugar crystals I used on the rim. They’re typically used for decorating cake and cookies but I just love them for this purpose. They not only look pretty but I enjoy the tactile nature of them, something a bit crunchy and sweet is nice.
You can find Sparkling Sugars in several colors at Michael’s and on Amazon; they are great for cocktails and cookies! Combining them with some kosher salt makes for a nice mix with the watermelon (and what I ALWAYS do with Margaritas) and made this one a real winner!
By the way; if you are a ‘Martini’ purist and think it blasphemy to call this a martini…that’s fine, it’s your right. But popular culture changes a lot of things and today, drinks served in a martini glass are often called martinis with nary a drop of gin in them. You call a ground beef patty a hamburger don’t you? Where’s the ham? 🙂
I’ve made lots of dishes and drinks with watermelon over the years; maybe one of these would interest you too? While I love them all, I have to say the Watermelon Salsa is surprising and a fantastic summer appetizer.
PIN IT! ‘Fresh Watermelon Martini’
Watermelon Martini Cocktail
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- 6 oz fresh watermelon juice I used a seedless watermelon so mixed it in my food processor and then strained it through a metal strainer.
- 2 & 1/2 oz good vodka
- 2 & 1/2 oz Limoncello or orange liqueur
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- Watermelon wedges for garnish
- Chill 2-3 glasses in your fridge or freezer 10 minutes before making the cocktail.
- Combine the sugar and salt and spread it on a flat bread plate. Dampen the rim of your glass with water or lime juice and dip it in the sugar/salt mixture. (Save the leftover mixture for another occasion).
- Combine the watermelon juice, vodka, liqueur and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 6-8 times.
- Strain and pour the mixture into the prepared glasses and garnish with a watermelon wedge.