Watermelon season is the best!! It’s the quintessential summer snack. I have a special place in my heart for the Yellow Doll Watermelons we get from Springdale Farm. They are an heirloom variety with vibrant yellow flesh and adorable curlicues to boot. Typically they are crazy sweet but it’s still a little early in their season so they aren’t quite there yet.
This gave me a great excuse to develop a late summer cocktail around them for #drinkthesummer 2016 put together by Sherrie over at With Food + Love! I follow a lot of food blogs, like an embarrassing amount of food blogs and Sherrie’s is one of my favorite. She’s based in the Midwest (huge bonus points), focuses on fresh local produce and posts a fair share of cocktail recipes – definitely someone to recruit to the squad. With #drinkthesummer tons of bloggers are posting seasonally inspired cocktail (and mocktail) recipes TODAY! Scroll down to the end of the post for a full listing of all these delicious summer drinks!
When coming up with a new recipe around a single ingredient I like to first think about what else is season. When things come in season during the same time you can almost always bet they will work well together. Hot peppers just started showing up from our local growers so they were an obvious choice for this cocktail! We just muddle jalapenos with some sugar, toss in the watermelon along with a generous glug of tequila and we have got the party started! CHEERS to summer with these Jalapeno Watermelon Coolers while we still can!!
Jalapeno Watermelon Cooler
Makes 2 Cocktails
3 TBS Sugar*
1/2 Jalapeno, Sliced*
1 Cup Watermelon Puree
3 oz Anejo Tequila
For the chili rim: Mix together equal parts Himalayan sea salt and chili powder and place on a plate. Rub the rim of each glass with lime and then twist around in the chili mixture until lightly coated. Set aside.
For the watermelon puree: Chop the watermelon (A small one is fine. I had a 4 lb watermelon and still had leftover puree.) into cubes (deseeding as necessary) and place in a blender. Blend on high until smooth and then pass through a fine mesh sieve (honestly most of my puree just passed right through the sieve but I thought the consistency was fine. If you want yours to be more like watermelon juice you’ll want to pass it through a few layers of cheesecloth too.)
For the Jalapeno Watermelon Coolers: Place the jalapeno in a shaker cup with the sugar. Muddle the two together well. Squeeze in the juice of half of the lime and add in the watermelon puree and tequila. Fill the shaker with ice and shake until cold. Place ice in your chili rimmed glasses and pour in the watermelon mixture until about 3/4 full. Top with the seltzer water and a squeeze of lime. Garnish with jalapeno slices if desired.
I found the cocktail to be quite spicy and ended up serving watermelon slices sprinkled with the chili salt mixture alongside it which was perfect on a hot & humid summer night.
*The local jalapenos I got were super spicy so these packed some heat! If you want a less spicy cocktail you could simply put in just a few rings and/or deseed the slices before using them. The amount of sugar you use should be adjusted based on the sweetness of the watermelon. Since it was early in the season for the Yellow Doll Watermelons 3 TBS of sugar gave it just enough sweetness to balance well with the other flavors. You could easily use less sugar if your watermelon is super sweet.
Check out the full lineup for #drinkthesummer 2016!!