Hottest day ever in recorded history in Seattle yesterday. The cats are starting to adopt awkward dying poses as if to say “Whyyy me?? Make it go away. . .”.
This calls for refreshing cocktails! We had some watermelon and decided to make juice from it. After looking around online, I didn’t find any watermelon drinks that appealed to me at the moment, so we decided to make our own. I was thinking tequila (something about the heat), and first tried a drink using tequila, watermelon juice, cilantro, simple syrup, cream and a touch of lemon juice. I know, it probably doesn’t sound to good. That’s because it’s not. Forget I mentioned it.
The next variant however, was right on. I threw out the lemon juice, finding it destroyed the balance of the other flavors, and substituted basil syrup for the cilantro and simple syrup. This made for a fun refreshing drink with a dominant watermelon flavor, a smooth tequila finish (honestly, it takes a bit of a back seat), basil notes, and a creamy texture that is cooling and refreshing on a hot day. I made it with Cazadores Reposado (a great tequila for the money if you ask me), but if I had it available I would probably use a blanco tequila, like Cazadores Blanco or Patrón Silver. If you have that in your liquor cabinet, give it a try and let me know how it is. To make the basil syrup combine sugar and water in equal parts (about ¾ cup each), add a handful of fresh basil leaves, bring just to a simmer, then remove from heat, cover and let sit for about 10-15 minutes, strain and cool.
1 oz blanco tequila (or reposado)
1 oz watermelon juice (watermelon blended and strained)
½ oz basil syrup
¼ oz heavy cream
Combine all ingredients in shaker. Shake with plenty of ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a couple basil leaves. Repeat.