Watermelon. The mere sound of it makes your mouth water, literally.
And, in fact, this cucumber relative delivers 92% water in every bite, as well as Vitamin C and lycopene. Not only is this melon a healthy snack and a harkening back to childhood, but it also plays incredibly well with spirits. Jason Eisner, Beverage Director at Gracias Madre in West Hollywood, has an ongoing love affair with watermelon and mezcal, feeling that each brings out the best in the other.
“When watermelon is in peak season, it’s magical.”
Get some of Jason’s insights into this juicy, crunchy cocktail ingredient.
What is the flavor profile of watermelon?
Fruit forward, juicy, clean, and silky.
How is it best used?
Watermelon doesn’t need anything from us to be brilliant. Just give it a muddle.
What spirits and mixers does it work best with?
Typically any neutral spirit, but personally I LOVE watermelon when it is combined with mezcal. The mesquite flavors of the spirit really bring out the more vegetal qualities that watermelon rind bleeds out into the fruit. It is also a perfect balance between sweet and smoke. Toss a jalapeno in there and you’re golden.
What are some tips for using it?
Watermelon is super versatile. You can float it in sangria for a subtle feel, or muddle it for a more fruit- forward experience.
Here’s a cocktail Jason is currently mixing up featuring watermelon.
One in a Melon
- 1 1/2 oz Mezcal Espadin
- 3/4 oz. Agave Nectar
- 1/2 oz. Lime Juice
- 1/4 oz. Wild Elderflower Liqueur
- 2 slices Watermelon, Muddled
- 2 slices Jalapeno, Muddled
- 2 dashes Lime Bitters
- 1 pinch Sea Salt
- slice of Watermelon for Garnish
Preparation: Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and muddle. Dry shake and fine strain into a Collins glass. Add crushed ice and a slice of watermelon to garnish.