spicy watermelon cocktail

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“any hour is cocktail hour in a crisis.” – ina garten

and with that statement, somehow i began to believe. that even in the midst of everything that is going on in the world, we can still find small ways to celebrate. to remember that it is okay to smile, to laugh and to craft a cocktail. its in that sentiment that i share with you my spicy watermelon cocktail using the always delicious, Reese Horseradish.

what makes this spicy watermelon cocktail….spicy?

this cocktail is spicy, sweet and a little salty. think of it as a sweeter, bloody mary inspired cocktail that screams summer. the spiciness comes from two sources- Reese’s horseradish and a simple jalapeño syrup. reese’s horseradish adds a tangy and spicy punch to this cocktail. this ingredient is pretty much the easiest part of the drink. to use- just open the jar, scoop out what you need and add it to the drink!

the jalapeño simple syrup adds a sweet heat, which perfectly complements the tangy heat from the horseradish. to help balance out the flavors, fresh watermelon and lime juice bring sweetness and a citrusy note.

this is the perfect home craft cocktail

this spicy watermelon cocktail is pretty simple to make, but it does require a bit of planning and time. making this the perfect cocktail to make at home! (while, also dreaming about summer days i hope find us soon.) the most time consuming part of this is making the jalapeño simple syrup.

this syrup recipe makes more than you’ll need for this batch of cocktails. but, it easily keeps in the fridge for a couple of months. to make any simple syrup, all you need is equal parts sugar and water. bring the sugar water to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid becomes the consistency of syrup. cool to room temperature and voila, simple syrup! another plan ahead part of the cocktail is the fresh watermelon juice.

jalapeño simple syrup pouring into glass

how do i make fresh watermelon juice?

if you can find it, you can use pre juiced watermelon. or, you could pull out a blender or food processor, mesh colander and make your own! its pretty simple:

  • throw 5-6 c of cubed watermelon into a blender or food processor. process or blend for about 30 seconds or until all the watermelon has turned to liquid.
  • strain the watermelon liquid through a fine mesh colander into a container or pitcher
  • that’s it! you can even skip the second step if you like the pulp

a few tips to help you make the best spicy watermelon cocktail

  • alcohol: you can use whatever clear alcohol you like
  • simple syrup: make sure to allow the simple syrup to cool completely to room temperature before using in the cocktail
  • jalapeños: for this recipe, 3-4 whole jalapeños are called for. however, only part of the inside is exposed to the boiling sugar water. meaning, the simple syrup doesn’t have as much heat as if you were to fully slice open the peppers. depending on your preference for spiciness, feel free to slice the peppers fully open or reduce down to 1-2
  • limes vs lemons: its preferable to use citrus in this cocktail for a balance of flavors. however, if you don’t have limes, use lemons
  • watermelon juice: its pretty easy to find whole watermelons ready to go most times of the year. but, if you can’t find any, mango would be another juice to try with this combo of flavors
  • salt vs sugar rim: this is entirely up to you! i personally liked the taste of the salt vs sugar for this cocktail. my advice would be to try a little of both before committing to a full rim of one
  • chilling the glass: this is an important step. the drink is chilled only by the ice in the shaker. this cocktail tastes best when served over ice or in a chilled glass to keep it cold
  • chilled watermelon garnish: one trick that works well to keep the drink cold without ice is to chill the watermelon wedges for 30 minutes – 1 hour before using. this acts like a big cube of ice and keeps the cocktail chilled for longer. plus, it looks fantastic as a garnish!
pouring spicy watermelon cocktail from shaker

can this be made into a boozy popsicle?

yes it can! if you have room in your freezer and popsicle molds, you can use the same recipe as you would for the drink. the only change I would make would be to decrease the amount of alcohol by half. alcohol doesn’t freeze, so in order for this to stay in popsicle form, there needs to be more liquid that freezes vs. one that doesn’t. my strawberry + lavender processo popsicles are another great boozy, icy treat!

watermelon cocktail in a glass
close up of a spicy watermelon cocktail

spicy watermelon cocktail

spicy, sweet and a little salty. this spicy watermelon cocktail is summer in a glass. craft one at home and dream of warm summer days spent with friends and family.
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Prep Time 45 mins
Cocktail Assembly 5 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Celebrations, Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 4 4-5oz. drinks

Equipment

  • medium sauce pan
  • food processor or blender
  • mesh colander
  • cockail shaker
  • 3-4 chilled servings glasses (4-6oz)

Ingredients
  

jalapeno simple syrup

  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c water
  • 2-3 fresh, whole jalapenos

watermelon cocktail

  • 6-8 oz fresh watermelon juice
  • 2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 2 oz jalapeno simple syrup
  • 1-2 tsp Reese’s prepared horseradish
  • 4-6 oz white tequila (or other clear alcohol of choice)
  • 3-4 sliced watermelon, chiiled for garish
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh mint for garnish
  • 1 lime, quartered for rim
  • salt or sugar for rim

Instructions
 

  • To make the simple syrup, combine sugar and water in a small sauce pan. Heat over medium-high heat stirring frequently until all sugar has dissolved, about 5-7 minutes. Add in whole jalapenos with sliced ¾ lengthwise. Lower heat and simmer an additional 10-15 minutes or until a light syrup consistency has formed. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Strain syrup through a mesh colander into an air tight container. Use immediately for drinks or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. 
  • Place drink glasses and slices of watermelon into freezer 30 minutes before serving to chill. 
    Prepare watermelon juice by placing 4 cups fresh water melon chunks into a food processor or blender. Process until no chunks remain. Strain through a mesh colander into an airtight container or measure out the required amount into shaker. If you like pulp, you can skip the straining. 
  • Fill ¼ of a shaker with ice. Pour watermelon juice, lime juice, simple syrup, tequila, and horseradish into a shaker. Top with second glass or lid. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Shake it like you mean it! 
  •  Pull chilled glasses from the freezer, rub a cut lime wedge along the rim. Roll rim of the glass on a plate covered with salt. 
     Strain shaken cocktail into each glass (3-4 glasses). Garnish with chilled watermelon slices and sprigs of mint.
    Cheers!
Keyword brunch drinks, cocktails, summer cocktails, watermelon drinks
did you make this recipe?tag @olivesnthyme on Instagram

did you make this recipe?

tag @olivesnthyme on instagram

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