As the weather warms and we move into the full Roman spring, the open air markets grow lush with their opulent offerings of seasonal vegetables and fruit. The appearance of one such fruit in particular always catches my eye and whets my appetite for one of my favorite summer cocktails: the watermelon martini.
I am sure that all sorts of watermelon martini recipes must exist, but this one is of my own creation, and since I like it so much I haven't bothered to try anyone else's. Oddly, I don't really love eating watermelon (maybe it's the seeds) but I crave the cocktail. It is bright, fresh, balanced, and cheery, perfect for a warm summer evening.
As with most fruit-based cocktails, the ingredients are absolutely key. Fresh watermelon is a must, as is fresh lemon juice to lend a little backbone and tartness to the drink, keeping it from becoming cloying. For some reason, Absolut is my vodka of choice for this drink, but any decent mid-range vodka will do. Readers of this blog will not be surprised that I also use St. Germain in the potion, since it is one of my go-to mixers, along with Cointreau and Chartreuse.
The relative proportions given below are approximative and are meant only to give a general idea of how much to use of each ingredient. I do not measure for this drink. For a weaker pour, increase the share of watermelon. For a tarter drink, add a bit more lemon.
- 3 parts Absolut vodka
- 2 parts fresh watermelon juice
- 1 part St. Germain
- 1/2 part fresh squeezed lemon juice (lime may also be used)
Cut watermelon into cubes and muddle in a mixing glass. Fill shaker with ice. Pour the muddled watermelon through a strainer into the shaker. Add vodka, St. Germain, and lemon juice. Shake vigorously for at least 20 seconds.
Garnish with lemon peel.