Farmers Market Kitchen: Gin Melon Cooler | Bite Club

Farmers Market Kitchen: Gin Melon Cooler

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There's a watermelon in my fridge. - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • There's a watermelon in my fridge.
Ripe is the season for massive, oblong fruits. (Yes, I see you, Monster Zucchini, but this isn't about you.) 

See this watermelon in my fridge? Picked Sunday at 4 Corners Farm in Newbury, its preternatural sweetness is helping offset the bitter fact that it's mid-August — and there are pumpkins blushing orange in the wings. 

That alone justifies a cocktail... 

Really, any excuse to pull out a bottle of Stonecutter Spirits' barrel-aged gin is excuse enough for me. I'll swoon for a good gin any day of the week, but I'm especially fond of this new(ish) trend toward barrel-aging the stuff (Caledonia Spirits' Tom Cat gin is another fine local example) and Stonecutter's version — released earlier this summer after many moons at rest —  is really quite special. 

Taken straight, this gin's a cool, herbal tonic, antidote to a tired working day — or muggy Sunday. Drinking it unadorned allows one to savor every jewel-toned botanical, to lap up its twinge of whiskey-barrel butterscotch.

But it also makes merry with fruit (gin and juice: it's a classic) and it's hot outside and I have a melon on my hands.

Last night I froze some of that melon. Today, I hacked off some more and threw it in a glass with gin and herbs and cucumber and a bit of spritz. And I'm still chewing my way through frozen bits of watermelon and basil...

Gin, cucumber, melon, herbs - HANNAH PALMER EGAN
  • Hannah Palmer Egan
  • Gin, cucumber, melon, herbs
Gin Melon Cooler
(4 cocktails per cucumber)

Ingredients:
  • Watermelon
  • Sugar
  • Angostura Bitters
  • Stonecutter Spirits barrel-aged gin (Caledonia Spirits' Tom Kat gin works, too!)
  • Mint or basil or both
  • Cucumber
  • Ice
  • Seltzer
  • Lime
Preparation:
  1. Cut a few slices of watermelon into one-inch cubes. Or, if you have a melon-baller, use that! Place these on a cookie sheet, making sure the melons aren't touching each other. Freeze until solid.
  2. When cocktail time arrives, toss a scant teaspoon of sugar into a Collins glass or other midsize vessel. Add a few drops of bitters, a spring of fresh mint or basil (or both) and a couple pieces of unfrozen watermelon. Mottle these, then add two ounces (about a shot and a half) of gin, a few cucumber slices, several frozen watermelon cubes and a couple ice cubes. 
  3. Stir well, top with seltzer and gently stir again, pulling the fruit and booze up from the bottom with a spoon. Squeeze a lime wedge over all, garnish with more mint or basil and serve straight away. 



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