Friday, 30 May 2014

The Boy and His Poison: The Watermelon Baja

Hangovers, together we can all beat them. That was the mantra I repeated to myself as I crawled out of bed following a stag-do chiefly populated with Scotsmen determined to drink the entire of East London dry. Bloody Marys were out (too dense and savoury) my blood was 30% gin (so no Corpse Revivers) and by that point I was beyond even the help of champagne. What I needed was a boozy, sugary fix with a hint of bitterness to wake up my beer-deadened tastebuds. When I read the ingredients of a Watermelon Baja I knew I'd found my saviour.

The first thing that hits you is the amazing freshness from the watermelon but what really makes this drink moreish is the way the ingredients complement each other. The honey balances the sourness of the grapefruit, which in turn accentuates the bitterness of the Aperol and that cuts into the sweetness of the watermelon. It's a damn fine drink and a hangover crushing machine, with all its parts working in perfect harmony. Now, ideally, you should use Cachaca for this but seriously, you try finding Cachaca in a Sainsburys Local. White rum works just fine.

You will need:
  • 50ml white rum
  • 25ml Aperol
  • 75ml grapefruit juice
  • 200ml chilled blended watermelon
  • A squeeze of honey
  • Mint (optional, it really depends how crap your Sainsbury's local is)
Make it:
  1. Pulp your watermelon using a hand blender, reserving a wedge for a swanky tiki style garnish. If, like me, you don't have the sort of fridge real estate for a whole watermelon, you're going to want to chill the pulp for at least half an hour before you use it. 
  2. Next add the rum, Aperol, grapefruit juice and honey to a cocktail shaker.
  3. Dry shake until the honey has mixed in.
  4. Add ice to the shaker.
  5. Shake until chilled.
  6. Now to assemble the drink. Pour 200ml of your watermelon pulp into a tall glass.
  7. Strain the rum and Aperol mix over the watermelon.
  8. Stir for a few seconds with a bar spoon.
  9. Slice a wedge of the reserved watermelon and rest on the side of the glass and finish with a smacked sprig of mint. It's best enjoyed through a wide straw.

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