Tuesday, 17 March 2009

best cocktail ever

This is quite possibly the most cooling, refreshing and inner core warming drink I've ever had. It's like some magical potion that they would serve at Hogwarts dinners, sans the alcohol of course, that is saved for the midnight feasts of young, wayward wizards. Ahh, the magic of underage drinking. But I digress.

Seriously, this Watermelon slushie with ginger mint syrup is magic.
Here, I'll show you how to concoct one.

This is what you will need.

That's watermelon, fresh mint, a knob of ginger, some ginger wine and some sugar (icing sugar and castor sugar). Optional, is vodka, or even more vodka. (Highly recommended.)
Exact amounts are not necessary. I can never follow recipes to the dot. Mainly because I have a problem with authority but also because I am lazy at maths.

Anyway, scrape out the watermelon flesh into your food processor. Add a spoon or two of icing sugar to the mix. Whizz it, Drain it, Freeze it. You only waste a wee amount of watermelon pulp, don't worry. Use a shallow dish to freeze the juice in so it freezes quicker.

Check it every five minutes to see if it's frozen yet. So exciting! It doesn't take that long either if you turn your freezer up. Here is where you can add the vodka if you're feeling adventurous. Just stir it in once the juice starts to freeze.

Next chuck equal amounts of castor sugar and water into a saucepan and heat, I used 1/2 a cup of each, so that it gently boils away and reduces to a lovely syrupy consistency. Whilst it's bubbling away, finely grate your knob of ginger. When you get bored, stop grating and chuck it in the pot and simmer away til the ginger becomes translucent and flavours the syrup. Resist the tempation to taste test here, it is very hot!

In between compulsively checking the freezer and occasionally stirring your bubbling syrup, tear up a bunch of fresh mint in a heat proof bowl. The original recipe calls for one firmly packed cup. I say however much is in a bunch.

Once the syrup is reduced, say, around 10 to 15 minutes, pour it into your heat proof mint filled bowl and allow to cool.

Look how the mint shrivels up! This is a good time to breathe deeply. Put your head over the bowl, smells SO good, it's like a facial. yummy mint and ginger steam facial...
Anyway, leave the syrup to cool. Maybe have a nap or something, beats doing household chores.

When you are ready to party, scrape the frozen watermelon with a fork so that magical pink ice crystals blossom. Drain the mint out of your syrup and add a cup or so of the Ginger wine* and stir. Taste, add in a lashing more of ginger wine and stir. Resist temptation to just down the syrup, there and then.

Spoon your ice crystals into a glass, pour 2 spoonfuls of syrup on top, top up the glass with a little more ice crystals and without further ado, down the hatch it slides.

This delicious recipe was spotted over at the lovely Stephanie's Elegant Sufficiency blog, where all good recipes hang out. See the original recipe on Gourmet Traveller if you absolutely must have exact amounts of ingredients.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! And please don't judge me for having a half renovated dirty kitchen with no splashbacks. It's rustic to have a cement wall okay, and a little grease on your cooktop never killed anyone. Did it?

*Stones Green Ginger Wine is available for around $10 a bottle at most liquor stores. Dad said that only bums used to drink the stuff when he was a kid. Ah, the gentrification of cheap liquors.


Stephanie said...

Fabulous!!! Want some now!

Judy said...

You certainly have great ideas! One question, when you get to the part where the watermelon juice is in the freezer how much vodka can you add and still have the juice freeze? 1/2 C perhaps? I'm excited about this. thanks!

Sara said...

Well Judy, my vodka adding was kind of a brilliant afterthought, and the only vodka i had was a little minibar bottle which has been living in the fridge since the begining of time and know one could remember how it got there. Anyway, It was 50ml of vodka, and the juice still froze fine after i added it in. You could try about a 1/4 of a cup. Not sure about half a cup. maybe split your watermelon juice into different batches and do some experiments with different ammounts of vodka?! let me know how you go, good luck!

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