Behind the Bar - Spicy Watermelon Cooler
Last Saturday afternoon, several of my friends threw an impromptu poolside cocktail party featuring one of the most refreshing, delicious summer drinks I’ve ever tasted. The glamorous sound of the phrase poolside cocktail party may be the tiniest bit misleading. In reality, most of the partygoers were barefoot in bathing suits and beach cover-ups and, once we’d exhausted our supply of about 9 real glasses, the rest of the drinks had to be served in plastic cups. But frankly, when you’re lying in the sun on a beautiful day in Montauk, sipping a drink with no fewer than three friggin’ garnishes, it’s hard not to feel kind of fabulous, regardless of the pool basketball dunk contest taking place beside you.
That is the power of this watermelon cocktail—which is a spicier spin on The Ruschmeyer, the signature drink at one of our favorite hangs in Montauk—it will turn what would otherwise be just a normal Saturday into an afternoon that feels special and makes you think yes! It is summer and it’s glorious.
So invite a few friends over (Laurie, Caitlin, and Isobel—the brilliant babes behind this concoction—are entertaining experts and made this recipe big enough to serve a full-on bash), throw together a cheese plate or some chips and guac, blast some beachy tunes, and celebrate the long days, the warm nights, and the fact that we won’t have to see snow for like, months. I will definitely drink to that.
Spicy Watermelon Cooler
By Caitlin Costello, Isobel Mills, & Laurie Spradley
- 1 medium to large seedless watermelon, cubed
- 4 jalapeños, sliced and seeds removed
- Juice of 6-8 limes
- 1 bunch mint
- 1 liter good vodka (we like Tito’s)
* Make sure to reserve several slices of jalapeño, lime, and a couple springs of mint for garnish
You also need:
- A blender
- A large mixing bowl
- A mesh strainer
Working in batches, puree the watermelon, jalapeño, and a large handful of roughly chopped mint until smooth. If you’d like your cocktails to have a completely smooth, liquid consistency, pour the blend through a mesh strainer. We wanted our drinks to have a slushie-like texture so we skipped this step.
Pour the watermelon-jalapeño-mint blend into your mixing bowl. Add the fresh lime juice and the entire bottle of vodka (you heard me) to the bowl and mix well with a spoon.
Finally, pour into glasses over ice. Be sure to garnish with a lime wedge, jalapeño slice, and a spring of mint to your guests feel fancy. Cheers!