Spicy Melon Cocktail
The Mexican street-cart staple of juicy fruit, lime, and chili powder is transformed into a refreshing cocktail (with just a hint of spice).
- 1 c. London Dry Gin
- 1 c. chopped, skinned, and seeded cantaloupe (about 1/2 melon)
- 1 c. water
- 1 c. sugar
- 1/4 c. finely minced cilantro leaves and tender stems
- 2 oz. Melon-Infused Gin
- 3/4 oz. Cilantro Simple Syrup
- 1/2 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice (1 lime)
- 1/2 oz. white vermouth
- Pinch of cayenne pepper, add more for garnish
- Melon slice, for garnish
For the Melon-Infused Gin: Combine gin and cantaloupe in an airtight container; cantaloupe should be completely covered with gin. Let stand at room temperature for 3 days. Strain into a clean bottle. Refrigerate up to 6 months.
For the Cilantro Simple Syrup: Combine water with sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Add cilantro and let stand for 1 hour. Strain out the cilantro. Cool before using. Simple syrup will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
For the Cocktail: Combine melon-infused gin, cilantro simple syrup, lime, vermouth, and pinch cayenne pepper in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake until well chilled, about 15 seconds.
Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a melon slice sprinkled with additional cayenne and serve immediately.
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