Friday, July 15, 2011

Please both martini and mojito
drinkers with Watermelon Gin Punch

Looking for a summer cocktail that serves several easily and will wow the crowd?
   Watermelon Gin Punch (click for the recipe) from Fine Cooking magazine is it.
   Of course, you can cut back the ingredients to make far fewer than the eight servings the recipe yields. That’s what my husband and I did as there were just the two of us when we tried it for the first time.
   But this drink would do very well at a backyard party. It can be put in a punch bowl or pitcher and even assembled outside if needed. Plus, you can make the simple syrup and puree the watermelon in advance.
   It’s an absolutely delicious cocktail with a dual personality: The gin will please the hard cocktail drinkers who gravitate to martinis, and the watermelon and mint will please the lighter cocktail drinkers who like mojitos or margaritas.
   It was very easy to make.
   The simple syrup is made by boiling sugar and water together, then cooling the mixture. It can be refrigerated far in advance of making the drinks.
   Chunks of peeled seedless watermelon are pureed in a blender or food processor, and the resulting puree pressed through a strainer. The juice is chilled until cold.
   Fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and mint are put in a pitcher or punch bowl, and the mint is mashed with a muddler back of a wooden spoon. Ice, gin, and the watermelon juice are added and the liquid stirred.
   The punch is served in glasses over ice.

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