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Watermelon Hard Lemonade

Watermelon, Vodka and Lemon/Lime Juice.

Let the watermelon be the sweetness. Watermelon’s best quality. I don’t love the texture or the the thick bitter skin, or it’s plethora of seed. Like lavender is to herb, watermelon is to fruit. Its a smell of summer.

Watermelon’s second best quality is wetness: a desirable summer taste.

We were sitting outside on a very hot, very dry summer day in Santa Fe, with a watermelon in the frig. How about a watermelon lemonade? Scott asked, like it was an ordinary think. Pretty soon he returned with tall glasses with watermelon chunks like ice cubes in a glass of lemonade, and challenged us to make this wonderful taste more wonderful.

I instantly thought of vodka, and Steuart suggested we smash and strain the watermelon to get more of its fragile distinct flavor into the glass. We discussed how much sugar it might need, and I think fresh juice is always better, and since this is an adult drink, there’s no need to candy it up with too much sugar.

Lemonade drinking in Santa Fe

1/3 Watermelon, cut in pieces and seeded
5 lemons, juiced
1 lime, juiced
1 tbs. sugar
1 cup of cold water
Garnish: mint, lime or lemon wedge, watermelon cubes

Press the watermelon through a strainer and add to citrus juice. Mix with water, pour over ice in a tall glass and add one shot to each of vodka from a bottle kept in the freezer. If watermelon is not sweet enough you may need to add a little more sugar, but go slow or you’ll lose the taste of watermelon. These quantities should make about six tall lemonades, but the mixed fruit juice can be saved if there is extra. Serve with a fresh sprig of mint or a slice of lime.

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