This watermelon mojito is the perfect summer’s cocktail – colorful, refreshing and easy to make too. You’ll be sipping them all summer long.
When I was at Food Wine Conference a couple weeks ago was the first time I had drunk more than one alcoholic drink at a time in well over a year, thanks to the impending then arrival of my little one. In fact I don’t think I ever had more than two even in the couple years before between tiredness and the knowledge of almost certainly being woken up once or more in the night by my eldest. I have tended to stick to beer, partly as I do like it but also if you’re only having one drink, it seems to last longer. The conference (as well as being good for others reasons), however, reminded me that I do quite like wine and the odd cocktail, particularly mojitos.
Somehow, despite having had them a number of times, I haven’t made them myself which seemed like it should be rectified. With summer just about upon us, a colorful watermelon mojito seemed like a good place to start, and it was. This recipe is, of course, for adults only, but if you like the odd cocktail, this is the perfect one for the coming months.
While it wasn’t the first time I had mojitos, when I lived in Madrid was certainly when I had them a bit more regularly than I have before or since. One of my friends who was also there for a few months was more of a spirits drinker than I have ever been and there was a decent cocktail bar near where he was living that a few of us went to now and then to enjoy a mojito or whatever else we were in the mood for. There wasn’t a huge range of drinks as you can get in some places, but they were all good.
The best mojitos, however, were in a Cuban bar that we would never have found if it weren’t for one of the people from our office. How he ever came across it I have no idea as it was in what looked like a residential building (in fact I think it was), up two flights of stairs and through an unmarked door. But inside was a genuinely Cuban bar, with both fantastic drinks and music. I think it was a semi-secret expat hangout, but whatever it was, we were always welcomed in.
Their’s was a classic rather than watermelon mojito, but my time in New York introduced me to a broader range of cocktails, particularly some fruity ones that I enjoyed. Maybe it’s partly the thought that you can tell yourself you are having some fruit too so they’re not that bad for you really, who knows, but either way they were tasty, and this watermelon mojito reminds me of some of them.
Watermelon has such a beautiful color that it makes cocktails look pretty for a start, but it also has a lovely delicate flavor that is a great addition as well. Having said that I wouldn’t say this watermelon mojito tastes that strongly of watermelon since you have both mint and lime that are probably stronger flavors, but it’s there and definitely goes very well with everything else.
Making a watermelon mojito is really easy as well. You can either simply mash up the watermelon or press it through a strainer, then the rest is like a typical mojito – muddle/gently mash the mint and lime chunks with some sugar then add your rum and sparkling water, as well as ice, of course. I’m sure people have their preferences on exactly how you muddle everything, whether it’s in a cocktail maker or in the glass itself – or like me using a pestle and mortar as it seems the most effective of the tools you have – but however you do it, just try to get all the goodness in the glass you drink from so you get all the great flavor.
A watermelon mojito makes for such a colorful, refreshing drink that’s perfect for summer, I’m already wondering why I haven’t ever made them earlier. But now I have, and since I’ve finally got the option of having the odd cocktail this summer unlike last, I can see them being made a few times in the coming months. Give them a try and you’ll see what I mean.
A summery twist on a classic cocktail, that's fresh, fruity and refreshing.
- 1/4 cup watermelon or a little more, around one large wedge
- 1/2 lime large, cut into 4 pieces
- 6 mint leaves large
- 1/2 tbsp sugar or a little more if you prefer sweeter or the watermelon is not that sweet
- 1 oz white rum 30ml eg Bacardi or 2oz/60ml if you prefer stronger
- 1/2 cup sparkling water
Either crush the watermelon in the bottom of the glass, or press it through a relatively open sieve. Either way, you want all the juice and any flesh in very small pieces.
Muddle together the lime pieces, mint leaves and sugar - if you have a cocktail maker great, but you can also crush them together with a pestle and mortar or with the back of a spoon. You're looking to roughly break up the mint and get a good amount of juice from the lime to dissolve the sugar. But the mint and lime mix, with all the chunks, in the glasses, add some ice, the rum, then top with sparkling water. Stir before drinking
Try these other summer cocktails:
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