Mornings are already getting a bit cooler here at the Jersey shore and sleeping with the windows open at night has been a welcome change. You can't deny that fall is in the air. Yet, I am totally pretending that Summer isn't coming to an end.
I know it's early, but I can't help but dread the Winter months already. Let's face it, Winter in the northeast isn't exactly a pleasant thing. Don't get me wrong, the season has its charm. But here in Jersey, the bitter cold lingers into April sometimes. And this is when my body and mind have had enough and simply demand warmth and sun. So people, this is why you gotta hold on to summer as long as possible! Have friends over for dinner or barbecue, have a bonfire, sit on your porch or patio and have a drink. Just enjoy.
My go-to summer drink is usually a gin and tonic, but I do like to change it up a little at times. And this is where watermelon comes into the picture. Watermelon is by far the most thirst-quenching fruit out there and is perfect for hot summer days. Wouldn't you agree? Many believe this fruit is made up of only water and sugar, but it actually provides a high amount of vitamins and antioxidants, and is pretty low in calories, too.
For this drink, I made the ice cubes out of puréed watermelon. Not only do the ice cubes look great in the glass, but they slowly sweeten the drink as they melt. Its almost like starting out with one drink and finishing off with another. Enjoy!
Gin Cocktail with Watermelon Ice Cubes
for the watermelon ice cubes
4 cups of watermelon, seeded and diced (about a quarter of a watermelon)
makes 6 large ice cubes
for the drink
2 oz of good-quality gin, like Hendricks
0.5 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
0.5 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
1.5 oz seltzer water/club soda (add 2 oz. if you prefer it less sweet)
a few mint leaves
make it :
Purée watermelon in processor. Pour watermelon purée into ice trays. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until cubes are solid, at least 4 hours.
Once ready to make the drinks, pour all of the ingredients in a shaker and stir, add the mint leaves and muddle them up. Place the watermelon ice cube in a glass and strain the mixture over it. Garnish with some more mint leaves.
Note: I used a Tovolo ice cube tray, which makes for six 2-inch ice cubes.