It’s watermelon day! Much needed refreshment for the height of summer. I cut up a mini watermelon after dinner and thought I’d make a drink too. Most watermelon cocktails are made with vodka, I’ve found ones with bourbon so I thought I’d give it a try since I don’t want to open a bottle of vodka just for this.
The first try I kept it simple, muddled a few cubes of watermelon with my current bourbon: the excellent Breckenridge. That’s it. I can smell the mixture of bourbon sweetness with watermelon freshness. Tastewise, the strength of the spirit wipes out the sweetness of the fruit and the combo has a slightly unpleasant bitter aftertaste. The remaining watermelon flesh had zero flavour that ruined the whole thing. Very surprised. I’ve kept it too simple; it’s not balanced.
The watermelon julep recipe adds lime juice, basil, mint and sea salt. I think definitely needs mint and a few drops of citrus plus a little sugar syrup. May be even soda water. I’ve also seen cucumber added: not sure about that because cucumber, though fresh, also has bitter notes.
The second try I soaked a few cubes of watermelon in bourbon for a few hours. They tasted better after infusion. Added sugar syrup and a few slices of cucumber for decoration. Much better.