It’s no secret that watermelon is the "it" ingredient this summer. It’s on craft cocktail menus, it’s served with mint and ricotta in super Instagram-able salads at mega hip restaurants everywhere, and it’s still the best barbecue go-to in all the land.
I love watermelon everything, but I haven’t figured out the perfect way to create a cocktail that doesn’t overpower the light, sweet taste. That’s why I was beyond excited to put together the Everclear® Watermelon Negroni, which let’s you fully enjoy the watermelon, without letting its flavor disappear into alcohol oblivion. It’s basically like eating a ripe watermelon, only there’s alcohol involved, and what could be better? That was a rhetorical question, because literally nothing can compare to this Watermelon Negroni.
I grew up with a Southern mother who was absolutely obsessed with watermelons. She loved using it in recipes, she wore watermelon prints and patterns, and she would always cut open a fresh one after a long day outside, especially if we were swimming. She was 100% convinced that watermelon was a Southern delicacy, and even told me that she didn’t think people ate them in the same way “up North” (don’t worry, my father, a Philadelphian, corrected her immediately). Now that I live in New York, I know for a fact that watermelon is a universal summer treat, whether for barbecues or cocktails. After one bite I’m magically transported to summer days in my backyard, even if I’m in the big city.
This recipe takes a little bit of preparation to infuse the Everclear®, but the planning is entirely worth it. Grab some quick ingredients on Sunday, start making it on Monday, and you'll be prepared for the perfect weekend. It'll give you something to look forward to all week long, even if you’re stuck in the office.
All you need for the liqueur is fresh watermelon juice (just try not to drink all of it before you create the cocktail), Everclear® to bring out the flavorful fruit, and simple syrup (which, let's be honest, you should always have on hand).
Making the rest of the drink is even easier. Just grab some Campari and Dry Vermouth. Then, feel free to slice up a watermelon for garnish — and don’t be afraid to eat the rest of it, just to make sure it’s perfectly delicious.
Now that you’ve whipped up an Everclear® cocktail that finally gives watermelon the spotlight it deserves, you’re ready for a summer of sweetness.
2 1/2 cups of fresh watermelon juice (use a seedless watermelon and juice only the ripe red areas, no rind at all)
1 1/2 cups Everclear®
2 cups simple syrup (Equal parts water and sugar, combined and heated until sugar is dissolved), cooled to room temperature.
Strain the fresh watermelon juice through a cheesecloth lined fine mesh strainer, twice to remove any solids. In a quart sized glass jar with a fitted lid, combine the strained watermelon juice and the Everclear®. Place the lid on tightly.
Shake to evenly combine. Place in a cool dry area for 5 to 10 days. Be sure to shake twice a day. The juice will continue to separate from the spirits so shaking to combine daily is important to really infuse the flavor. Makes 4 cups.
After at least 5 days, combine 2 cups of simple syrup with the 4 cups of watermelon infused Everclear®, and stir until evenly combined.
Watermelon Negroni Assembly2 ounces of Watermelon Liqueur
1 ounce of Campari
1 ounce of Dry Vermouth
1 small wedge of watermelon, for garnish
In a rocks glass filled with ice, combine the watermelon liqueur, the Campari, and the dry vermouth. Garnish with a small wedge of fresh watermelon and serve.
- You may also use sweet vermouth in place of the dry vermouth if you're searching for a sweeter sip.
- Our cocktail recipe yields 1 drink, but the liqueur recipe is plenty for a party!
What food do you most closely associate with your summertime memories? Let us know in the comments!
Recipe Developer: Maureen Petrosky