Friday Happy Hour: Ginger Watermelon Cooler

I don’t always come up with the best ideas from scratch, but sometimes I’m pretty good with making stuff out of what we already have in the house. This cocktail came around because that was the situation last weekend.

It’s summertime, so watermelons are everywhere, including in our CSA basket. Don’t get me wrong, I love watermelon, but as a drink, I find it needs something more. Enter ginger syrup.

Living here in Barcelona, we have not been able to find ginger ale, so we’ve taken to making it ourselves, which first requires making a ginger syrup. Thus, we had some sitting in the refrigerator. It adds a nice spiciness to pair with the subtle sweetness of the watermelon. Add a little rum, a squeeze of lime and voilà! a tasty, summery and refreshing beverage.

And because it’s summertime, this is a great batch drink to make for a party. Mix everything ahead of time, put in a glass bottle, and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to start the party. Work your ratios off of the size of watermelon you have, and enjoy!

Friday Happy Hour: Ginger Watermelon Cooler

Ingredients

  • 150-160 ml (5 - 5.5 oz) watermelon purée
  • 50-60 ml (1.5- 2 oz) ginger syrup*
  • 45 ml (1.5 oz) dark rum
  • Squeeze of lime
  • Lime wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. Cut your watermelon (seedless is easier) into cubes, discard the rind.
  2. In a blender, food processor or using a hand blender, blend watermelon cubes into a smooth liquid.
  3. Run liquid through a sieve or strainer and discard the pulp.
  4. Combine the watermelon purée, ginger syrup, squeeze of lime and rum into a shaker full of ice.
  5. Shake until cold.
  6. Serve over ice in a highball glass.
  7. Garnish with lime wheel.
  8. Kick your feet back and chill.
http://www.travelingtotaste.com/2017/07/28/friday-happy-hour-ginger-watermelon-cooler/

—————————————
To make ginger syrup:

Take 200 grams (7oz) of fresh peeled ginger and cut into slices.
Simmer in 240 ml (2 cups) of water for 40 minutes.
Turn heat off, let rest for another 20 minutes.
Strain ginger water through a fine strainer or coffee filter.
Return back to heat. Dissolve 180 ml (3/4 cup) of sugar into ginger water.
Remove from heat. Keep in sealed container in the refrigerator.

Friday Happy Hour: Pomegranate Shrub Vodka Soda

It’s official. I’m in love with shrubs.

What is a shrub, you ask? Well, there are certainly others who can explain it better than I can, but the basics are this: fruit + sugar + vinegar. Sounds strange, yes, but the roots of this drink go all the way back to the Romans who used it as a way to preserve fresh fruit. It’s a really interesting combination of sweet and sour, and even if you are skeptical, worth a try.

Anyway, a friend made some pomegranate shrub and gave us a small bottle when we were in New Orleans in December. We hadn’t really done much with it until recently when the weather started getting nice.

Shrubs can be used to make both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, which makes them pretty versatile in application, and there are TONS of recipes online about how to make them (our friend referenced this one).  Most of these recipes say they are “fantastic additions to cocktails” but don’t really go into the details about what cocktails, what proportions or anything really.

So we started with the most basic recipe. The pomegranate shrub we have is delicious when added to sparkling water, so why hide that amazing flavor with something fancy? This a a simple vodka soda with shrub added. Vodka is the definition of neutral, so try ANY flavor shrub with this recipe.

Cheers!

Friday Happy Hour: Pomegranate Shrub Vodka Soda

Ingredients

  • - 45 ml (1.5 oz) Pomegranate shrub
  • - 60 ml (2 oz) Vodka
  • - Squeeze of lime
  • - Slice of lime for garnish

Instructions

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice
  2. Squeeze lime into glass
  3. Add vodka and shrub
  4. Stir
  5. Garnish with lime wheel and enjoy!
  6. (wasn't that easy?)
http://www.travelingtotaste.com/2017/04/28/friday-happy-hour-pomegranate-shrub-vodka-soda/