Author Notes: I developed this recipe while living in New York, a city renowned for its culinary diversity and creative mixologist. It is also famous for its hot and sticky summers, ripe with palpable humidity that drives natives and visitors alike to seek shelter in the nearest air-conditioned venue. Fortunately for its residents, summer in the city is as sweet as it is sticky, a saving grace for country girls like myself. Markets fill with seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs, some of which have found their way into this summer-time cocktail. Inspired by watermelon infused vodka, this recipe uses a simple syrup infused with herbs, frozen fruit, and ice-cold vodka bound together with a twist of lemon. —nycnomad
Mint Simple Syrup
cup Organic Sugar
cup Mint sprigs (fresh) Chopped
Sweet Summer Breeze
Watermelon (small, seedless) or Half a regular watermelon (seeds removed)
pound Organic Strawberries
ounces Top Shelf Vodka
Juice of 1 lemon
Fresh mint sprigs (garnish)
cup Mint Simple Syrup
- For the simple syrup, begin by placing the sugar in a small sauce pan. Pour in the juice of 1 whole lemon and the 1/2 cup of water.
- Add the mint to the sugar and lemon mixture.
- Place the pan over a low flame and heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Take care not to allow the mixture to boil. Stir frequently. When the syrup begins to boil, remove it from the flame and set aside allowing the mint to infuse the mixture with its flavor and aroma.
- Cut the watermelon into cubes, removing the seeds if necessary, and place them in a large, shallow bowl.
- Wash and hull the strawberries. Slice them in half and add to the watermelon.
- Pour the vodka over the fruit and place in the freezer.
- When the fruit has frozen completely, place it , the ice and the vodka in a blender and mix until it has reached the consistency of a “frappe” (1 min max).
- Add 2 tablespoons of the herbal syrup and the freshly squeezed juice from 1 lemon into the blended fruit. Blend again for 10 seconds.
- Pour the cocktail into chilled glasses and garnish with a fresh sprig of mint.
- Find a comfortable chair. Kick off your shoes and enjoy!