This post could also be called “ways to get into trouble at 10 am on a weekday while your toddler naps.”
Because that’s what happened to me with this cocktail. If you follow me on snapchat (username: mooberto — which, by the way, is a story for another time. The fact that I can’t change my username to something more reasonable is so embarrassing), you already know that I accidentally drank (drunk?) too much of this shortly after I put my child down for a morning nap. Yes, MORNING nap. All the debauchery occurred well before noon.
And when I say “debauchery,” I mean it lightly. I got a buzz on in the morning while at home alone with my child. It could have been much, much worse. Right? RIGHT?!
I went from testing/tasting the mix to drinking almost a whole glass before I even realized what was happening. It just went down so easy! I knew it was going to be good, but I wasn’t expecting to like this one as much as I did. #momwhoops
Which, looking back, doesn’t really make a ton of sense. Watermelon is one of my most favorite things in the world, as are salty-sweet combos. And gin is my absolute favorite booze. So, this is pretty much my dream cocktail.
Have you tried a salty dog yet? They’re a newer trend (at least “newer” for me – I don’t get out much anymore) in the cocktail world, and I am a huge fan. If I see one on the menu at a restaurant, I almost always get it (preferably with gin). There’s something really fantastic about the crisp tartness of the grapefruit juice and the salty rim. It SORT OF reminds me of a margarita but without the “uh oh” taste of tequila.
(The “uh oh” taste of tequila, by the way, is something I unfortunately discovered shortly after turning 21. Like most people? Thankfully, I’ve recovered and am now a huge, year-round margarita fan.)
It’s a light and refreshing drink, which is perfect for this time of year. Me being the watermelon freak that I am combined with my overzealous excitement for the start of summer made me put a watermelon twist on the classic salty dog on a whim, and clearly, I was very happy with the results. It tastes like a lovely bite of juicy watermelon…with a salty twist. The sweetness of the watermelon and the tang of the grapefruit juice go incredibly well together. And the gin (or vodka! Or rum!) gives it that nice edge.
I think I should add watermelon to all my summer cocktails, don’t you?
Perhaps, at the very least, I should wait to do so on a Friday at 5 pm when my husband is home to join me and there is more than one adult around to tend to the kid? Yeah. Life goals.
½ cup fresh watermelon juice (instructions below)
¼ cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
½ cup vodka or gin
2 tablespoons simple syrup (See NOTE)
Coarse salt, for rimming glasses
Frozen watermelon slices
Fresh mint sprigs
For the watermelon juice, place roughly 2 cups of cubed watermelon (peeled and seeded) in a blender or food processor. Pulse until completely smooth. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl or cup. Place in the fridge to chill. Chill all other ingredients as well.
Fill a shaker with ice and add the watermelon juice, grapefruit juice, vodka/gin, and simple syrup. Shake vigorously for a few seconds to mix and chill the ingredients.
Rim two glasses with coarse salt and fill with ice. Divide the mixture between the two glasses and garnish with frozen watermelon wedges, grapefruit slices, and even a sprig or two of mint, as desired. Serve immediately!
Simple syrup is optional here. I found that the drink still needed a little sweetness, so I added it a tablespoon or so at a time until I got it where I wanted it. If you’re using really sweet watermelon, though, you may not need any syrup at all. It’s definitely a preference-based thing!
To make simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for a few minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved. Cool completely and then store in an airtight container in the fridge. Use as needed!