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
- Grapefruit 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!