Can I make a confession? I kind-of hate watermelon. I know, that is totally un-American of me. It is actually a curse. I love the FLAVOR of watermelon, I just can’t stand the seeds. I am a chewer so I manage to crunch into each and every seed before I can spit it out. I know you are thinking “Well then just get seedless watermelon!” Yeah, I have tried farm fresh watermelon, and now seedless watermelon tastes like bland water pulp. So I am stuck craving watermelon but regretting the first bite.
This leaves me with a problem. Melons are doing really well at my farm. Just last week I took home THREE cantaloupe. Yup. That’s right three. I had to give one away since they were huge. This week I only got one small cantaloupe, and we got one watermelon. Then my mother in law pointed out that there was a huge watermelon that they were having a guessing contest for. Winner takes the watermelon. I never back down from a competition.
Low and behold the skills I picked up from working a restaurant kicked in. I thought “Wow this feels like a 25 lb bag of beets, only minus a pound.” So I guessed 24 lbs even, and I found myself taking a 24 pound watermelon home with my already huge pick from my share. I figured if I was going to get these watermelons gobbled up by the end of the week, I should probably drink them.
When I saw watermelons at the farm I thought I should mix it with tequila. The two work perfectly with each other, vodka would be too boring, and almost everything else would be overpowering. Sweet basil gave a nice profile as well. You can easily swap out mint for the basil if you have that on hand (and to make a mojitos after this drink)
I am not sure if my CSA grows yellow watermelons because they think they look pretty, taste better, or if they grow really well here. But that is what I got, so this drink is a pretty yellow. Anyone else reading this will get a pink drink, which will be just as yummy.
I’m not the type of person to dwell on ingredients, but I think I should talk a little about them. I would love to share which tequila I used, but I am not entirely sure if it is vegan. Many liquors, wines, and beers will have non-vegan methods to filtering the drinks. They aren’t listed under ingredients so it is fairly hard to figure out what is or isn’t vegan.
But I checked Serious Eats for their top 7 budget tequilas and found three that are vegan (because let’s face it, we don’t want to spend a ton when mixing our drinks). El Jimador, Lunazul Primero, and Gran Centenaria Tequila are all confirmed vegan. I actually used Espolon, which made their list. They describe it tasting similar to El Jimador, so I recommend trying that out.
I also want to point out my obsession with honey in cocktails. We all know honey is not vegan. But it is a pretty easy fix. Bee Free Honee makes a great honey substitute, giving subtle flavors I want. Their product can be a little hard to find but you can use their store locator or buy from amazon.
I think cocktails seem really inaccessible since they are written with ounces. I can tell you how many ounces are in a cup which makes conversions fairly easy. But what about half ounces? This is when things get complicated. I included ounces AND other measurements that most cooks are comfortable with (like tablespoons and cups).
The numbers are pretty easy to double, to make a huge batch in a pitcher. Just mix together the honee, watermelon juice and tequila in a pitcher. Then muddle some sugar and basil in individual glasses, refilling them with the watermelon mix when needed.
- 2 oz tequila (1/4 cup)
- Watermelon* (yielding 1 cup juice)
- 1/2 oz Bee Free Honee* (1 tbsp)
- 2-3 basil leaves
- 1 tsp sugar
1Juice your watermelon first. You can choose you own method. You can either use a juicing machine, or blend chunks in a blender straining it. I found the easiest method is to place chunks in a mesh strainer and crush the melon with the back of a spoon or fork. You want at least one cup's worth of juice. 2Place the basil and sugar in a glass and muddle them together. You want the leaf to start to break down, but not completely. This will infuse the flavor with the sugar. 3Pour in half of the watermelon juice, tequila, honee, and ice in a shaker. Mix and pour into muddle sugar and basil. Add the rest of the juice and serve. *I highly recommend keeping your watermelon in the fridge before juicing to ensure a cold drink. **Feel free to sub any liquid sweetener for the bee free honee.