Sep 30 2010

Watermelon martinis and sorbet

Published by at 8:54 am under Food,Local food,Recipes

We aren’t great about cleaning out the fridge but I think we’re better than most and it’s just the two of us at home so we don’t have a lot of groceries at any one time.  Which is why it was so strange to me that for awhile I was struggling to find a place in the fridge for the milk, juice, leftovers, even coffee creamer.  Oh right–there were two whole watermelons and one big tupperware of cut-up watermelon taking up all the space.  What’s a girl to do?

Make alcoholic beverages and desserts, of course!

I’ve used watermelon in drinks before and it gets a weird grainy texture when you just puree the whole thing and use it as is.  This time I pureed it but strained it which prevents and bad texture and removes the seeds in one step–all that’s left is the juice!  Both of these recipes are built on watermelon juice and simple syrup so they are easy to make together.   The extra juice I had left over froze really well in plastic pint containers meaning the watermelon martinis will be flowing long past Thanksgiving!

To prepare the watermelon juice:
Cut the flesh from the rind and cube into 2″ pieces.  Put pieces into the largest bowl of your food processor fitted with a chopping blade (you could also do this in a blender).  Working in batches, process until just pureed.  Pour the puree into a fine mesh strainer or a colander lined with cheesecloth that is placed over a big bowl.  Use your hands or the back of a wide, sturdy spoon to push out the juice into the bowl.  This takes some time to get every drop of juice so keep pushing!  When the pulp is relatively dry, discard and begin next batch.  I got about 7-8 cups from 2 watermelon.  Freeze or use in the following recipes:

Watermelon Martini
Makes 2 drinks (in my case this was “Serves 1″ but you may feel differently :))

1 cup watermelon juice
1 oz raspberry flavored vodka
1 oz vanilla flavored vodka
1 oz lemon flavored vodka or white rum
Splash of simple syrup

Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake, strain and serve chilled. Garnish with citrus or a chunk of watermelon. Don’t be tempted to rim the edge with sugar–watermelon is already pretty sweet.

Watermelon Sorbet
Makes 1 quart

3 cup watermelon juice
1 cup granulated sugar (see note below about sweetness)
1 cup water
1 oz lemon flavored white rum
2 Tbsp corn syrup

Heat the sugar and water in a small saucepan until completely dissolved (simple syrup).  Stir in watermelon juice, rum and corn syrup.  Chill mixture overnight.  Pour into freezer bowl of a running ice cream maker and mix until thickened, about 30 minutes.  Serve or spoon into pint containers and freeze immediately.

These two recipes feel my last hurrah of summer.  Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and squash can all transition into fall but watermelon is pure summer.  Both of these have a surprising flavor which is sad, because that surprise is because it taste REAL.  Greg and I both got a weird look on our faces when we sampled the sorbet because we’re so used to the fake watermelon flavor–like a Jolly Rancher or a Blow Pop–that having that flavor of a big slice of watermelon in sorbet felt weird.  But then, delicious.  *Sugar note: Be careful with the sugar in all of these recipes–watermelon is already sweet so the sugar can make it like cotton candy.  I thought the sorbet was too sweet but Greg really liked it as is.  Test is out and adjust the simple syrup to your own preference.

I kind of can’t wait to pull out the frozen juice and make this sorbet in, like, January, just to take this sunshine-y feeling in on a day when it’s dark by 4 pm.

Note from the future: I pulled the 4 cups of frozen juice out in March to make an addictive signature pink punch for a baby shower.

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