Like every faithful Yoncé follower, ever since Ms. B first sang about drinkin’ watermelon, I’ve been on the hunt to find the perfect watermelon cocktail. While this Grilled Watermelon Mint Julep may not be what Beyoncé was sipping on, I’m confident it’s worth adding to your summer cocktail rotation.
Yes, grilled watermelon. I will admit that at first I was completely grossed out by the idea of grilled watermelon, but turns out it is beyond delicious. The grilling process really brings out a candied taste in the watermelon—think Watermelon Jolly Ranchers. No guarantees it will make you “Drunk In Love” though.
Grilled Watermelon Mint Julep
Yields 4 juleps
Mint simple syrup
1/2 pound seedless watermelon
6 ounces bourbon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
A handful of fresh mint leaves (plus 8 more leaves for garnish)
A couple hours ahead of time, mix water, sugar and mint in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring mixture to a simmer and then turn off the heat. Let steep for an hour or so. Strain to remove mint leaves and pour liquid into a small container.
Cut watermelon into 1-inch wedges. On a hot grill (or you can use a griddle), grill the watermelon for a couple minutes on each side until it has grill marks and is a vivid red. Allow grilled watermelon to cool. Set aside one wedge to be cut into smaller pieces for garnish.
Cut the remaining watermelon into small chunks, tossing out the rind. Add the watermelon to a food processor or blender and pulse until completely pureed (10-20 seconds depending on your gadget). Pour the watermelon mixture through a strainer that you’ve affixed on top of a bowl. Discard the pulp left in the strainer.
In four cocktail glasses filled will crushed ice, equally distribute the bourbon (1.5 oz. per glass) and watermelon. Feel free to add a few more dashes of bourbon if you prefer a less sweet cocktail—it will just make it more delicious. Top with two tablespoons of the simple syrup and stir. Garnish with a slice of the grilled watermelon you set aside and two mint leaves.
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