Hone Your Bartending Skills at Home

Watermelon And Basil Cocktail
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It’s the heat of summer and we recently had a quick taste of getting things back to normal, or somewhat normal. We grew accustomed to walking into a bar masked up, sitting apart at a same distance… Then BAM, state leaders took us back to square one based on surging COVID-19 numbers and data that shows growing cases. Many bars are shuttered again.

So, while we are either doing take out or making drinks at home, here are a few summer fun cocktails to get us through the summer months.

Let’s start with the popular Piña Colada, which is a sweet cocktail made with rum, cream of coconut or coconut milk and pineapple juice, usually served either blended or shaken with ice. Depending on preference, it may be garnished with either a pineapple wedge, maraschino cherry or both.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce (one part) coconut cream
  • 1 ounce (one part) white rum
  • 3 ounces (three parts) pineapple juice
  • Ice

Directions:

  1. Mix coconut cream, white rum and pineapple juice.
  2. Combine with crushed ice, blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into a chilled glass, garnish and serve.

You can put it in a blender and mix with ice if you prefer the drink frozen.

Another crowd favorite is a watermelon margarita. Some say everything is better with a cool slice of watermelon and summertime always seems to bring out the craving for this sweet treat.

Ingredients:

  • Cubed watermelon
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 3 limes (2 juiced, one cut into wedges)
  • 8 ounces tequila
  • 5 ounces Triple Sec
  • 2 tablespoons of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

Directions:

  1. In a blender, purée the watermelon and sugar until smooth.
  2. Pour purée through a fine mesh strainer. Transfer the liquid to a pitcher and add the lime juice, tequila and 4 ounces of triple sec. Stir it all together.
  3. In a shallow dish, combine the kosher salt with the chili powder. In a second small plate, add the remaining 1-ounce of triple sec.
  4. Dip the rims of the margarita glasses in the triple sec then coat them with the salt and chili mixture.
  5. Garnish each with a lime wedge.

What better way to get the ultimate watermelon-sugar high?

Let’s keep going with the watermelon, since you’ll likely have some leftover from the watermelon margarita above. Here’s a great watermelon cocktail that is refreshing and adds cucumber.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 ounces of watermelon juice (fresh is best)
  • 2 slices of cucumber
  • 1.5 ounces of gin
  • .5 ounces simple syrup
  • 3/4 ounces fresh lime juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • Soda Water

Directions:

  1. Once you gather the ingredients, press watermelon to make juice in a mixing glass. Be sure to strain it.
  2. Add cucumber and muddle in the mixing glass.
  3. Add the gin, fruit juices, simple syrup and salt.
  4. Shake for about 30 seconds.
  5. Fine strain into a glass filled with fresh ice.
  6. Top with soda water.
  7. Garnish with a cucumber slice.

Tips: don’t leave out the pinch of salt. Also, keep in mind, straining is an essential step because it will remove the small fruit bits, including the seeds. It’s very simple and should be done for both the watermelon juice and the cocktail to eliminate cucumber pieces. To do it, use your normal cocktail strainer while pouring through a fine-mesh strainer into the glass. Now you are ready to sip and enjoy.

 

Hey, it’s the new normal these days and now is a good time to hone your at home bartending skills. Cheers!!

 

 

 

Categories: Cocktails, Drink Up NOLA, Homepage, Recipes