There seems to be this trend where I post last months cocktail of the month this month. So, for those of you sitting and waiting on the edge of your seat for the cocktails of the month, I apologize for the delay. This month (last month), a seasonal summer sipper is front and center. Owning true to the Pacific Northwest roots, fresh seasonal produce was used, making the Watermelon Rosemary Lemonade Cocktail the perfect summer drink.
If you read the last post from the grill highlighting Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken, you would know I went on a little vacation this (last) month. Off to the high desert of central Oregon, where I got some sun and fresh air. Like the lemon pepper chicken, I wanted to be as prepared as possible before hitting the road. So, the morning before I left, all the ingredients were prepared.
We were also celebrating my sister’s birthday the night we arrived, so I wanted a unique cocktail! Also, since my sister is pregnant, I wanted a cocktail that would stand up without any alcohol. The Watermelon Rosemary Lemonade Cocktail was just the mocktail the family vacation needed! Since we were on vacation, I didn’t have my normal supply of cocktail glasses. Despite being a pretty well stocked kitchen, the vacation rental we stayed in didn’t have appropriate glasses for this drink. I highly suggest have a nice set of Old Fashioned cocktail glasses, even if you never plan on making an Old Fashioned.
How to Make the Watermelon Rosemary Lemonade Cocktail
Start off by finding the freshest produce you can. For this recipe, fresh (and sweet!) watermelon is a must. As well as fresh rosemary, and freshly squeezed lemons. Once you procure the produce, the prep can be broken up into three main steps:
Step 1: Rosemary simple syrup
The Watermelon Rosemary Lemonade Cocktail brings a nice earthy herbal taste to it through the use of a rosemary simple syrup. We’ve made simple syrups before (read Dark Cherry Lime GT), so you should know the drill.
In a saucepan on medium heat combine water and sugar. Bring to a simmer and make sure all of the sugar dissolves. Once the mixture is simmering add the rosemary sprigs and allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the pan from the heat, cover, and rest for around an hour.
Strain into a small bowl to add into Step 2 below, or into a jar if you’re traveling like me.
Step 2: Watermelon Lemonade
Another way summer is brought into this cocktail is with the watermelon based lemonade. Is there anything more summery then lemonade on a hot day? In a blender juice 2 lemons and combine with water. Add in your cubed watermelon and pulse until the watermelon is fully broken down.
At this point, you can either strain this mixture, or begin to add in the simple syrup. Since I was prepping this cocktail to drink at another location, I opted to keep my simple syrup and lemonade separate until I was ready for Step 3.
Step 3: Mixing the Watermelon Rosemary Lemonade Cocktail
Time to enjoy the fruits of your labor! In a glass with ice pour in the vodka, then fill the glass three fourths full with the watermelon lemonade. Spoon in a tablespoon or two of the rosemary simple syrup, tasting as you add to make sure the drink doesn’t get overly sweet. Add a lemon slice and rosemary sprig for garnish if you would like, serve, and enjoy!
A Pacific Northwest cocktail requires a Pacific Northwest band. I had the pleasure of seeing this band live at McMenamin’s Edgefield concerts this summer, and it was a great show. I had heard of the band before, and even knew a couple of songs, but my fiancé went to high school with a couple of the band members, which is what brought us to Edgefield for the show. Here is my favorite song of theirs, Fleet Foxes – Mykonos.
Watermelon Rosemary Lemonade Cocktail
- 3-4 sprigs rosemary
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 7 cups cubed watermelon
- 2 lemons juiced
- 1 cup water
- 8 oz vodka
- Lemon slices and rosemary sprigs for garnish
- In a saucepan over medium heat combine 1 cup of water with sugar and 3 to 4 rosemary sprigs. Cook 5 minutes, until sugar fully dissolves, then cover and let sit for an hour.3-4 sprigs rosemary, 1 cup water, 3/4 cup sugar
- In a blender combined lemon juice, and one cup of water. Add watermelon cubes to the blender a couple at a time. Pulse until watermelon is totally broken down.2 lemons, 1 cup water, 7 cups cubed watermelon
- Slowly add in Rosemary simple syrup. Poor blender mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a picture. Serve over ice for a mocktail, or add vodka for a cocktail.8 oz vodka, Lemon slices and rosemary sprigs for garnish
Entrees to Pair with Watermelon Rosemary Lemonade Cocktail
- Smoked Whole Chicken – perfect for that winner winner chicken dinner
- Smoky Cheeseburger – hold the pickles hold the lettuce
- Smokey Lime and Cilantro Pork Tenderloin – for your South of the border cravings
Side Dishes to Pair with Watermelon Rosemary Lemonade Cocktail
- BBQ Asparagus – simple, sweet, and tangy side dish perfect for that late spring and early summer BBQ
- Spicy Smoked Veggies – they are hot, you’ve been warned!
- 5 Ingredient Smoked Carrots – the easiest BBQ side dish around!
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