Fun Food Fridays: Watermelon Martinis

Watermelon Martini

Have you ever seen a recipe in a magazine and said, “Yes! I’m going to try that!” And then, you try it and say, “Did those people ever actually MAKE this because it doesn’t work/taste the way they said?!”

Well, this recipe started out that way, but let me assure you, I’ve made it twice and it DOES work and it is yummy. This is perfect recipe for a summer barbeque or any hot day. And since it’s made with seasonal fruit it makes the flavors extra special.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 seedless watermelon
  • Vodka (chilled)
  • Limes

The original recipe said to chunk the watermelon and then run it through a food processor. Don’t even bother! You get watermelon all over the kitchen. (Three weeks later and I’m STILL finding sticky pink spots on my counters and wall.) Don’t believe me? Try pouring watermelon pulp out of a food processor cylinder. There’s no lip for a spout (unlike a blender) so the pulp doesn’t pour; it plops. And splashes. And did I mention it gets EVERYWHERE?!

DO cut up the watermelon into tiny pieces and run through your blender. I used the “liquefy” setting. The watermelon bits need to be pretty tiny to get it to blend. If they’re too big, the blades just whirl with no liquefying action. If you cut the pieces too big (like I did) smash them deeper into the blender with a wooden spoon while the blender is off.

Strain the pulp through a colander to get just the juice. Now, here’s the trick: use a colander with HOLES as opposed to holes on the bottom and slits along the sides! You’ll need a pretty large bowl to catch all the juice. I ended up using two bowls the last time I made this.

You could also strain through a cheesecloth but you’ll be there all day! The trick is to pour a bit of the pulp into the colander and then stir with a wooden spoon. The juice trickles through and the pulp remains. Discard the pulp (or put it in your compost!).

When you’re done liquefying most of the watermelon, freeze the watermelon juice. You’ll want to reserve a few slices for a garnish. Now, I’ve done this three ways:

  1. Freeze until chilled and just a BIT frozen.
  2. Freeze until slushy — there’s mostly frozen and a bit of juice
  3. Freeze until firm.

I prefer the firm. Then you “shred” the frozen juice with a fork to make it fluffy. I think the technical term is “granita.” It’s a bit of work, but the texture is out of this world!

No matter which freezing technique I’m using at the moment, I serve this in BIG glasses. So for my big glass, I squeeze in a quarter of a lime. Then add chilled vodka to taste. Garnish with a watermelon wedge.

If you’re not interested in a martini, this is good with just the lime. I also recommend a bit of sparkling water or even ice tea.

PS: The original recipe called for LEMON juice (a lot of it) and tequila. Frankly, I didn’t like it at all. And after all the work I went through to juice the watermelon using the stupid food processor technique it was heartbreaking not to like the drink. Once I hit upon the LIME and VODKA mix, the taste was perfect.

Between the impossible to pour pulp from the food processor and the way watermelon and lemon DON’T go together, I’m thinking the original publishers of this recipe thought it up but never actually TRIED it. Or maybe they just like tequila more than I do. Either way, I’ll save my tequila for margaritas and serve my watermelon with vodka!

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