Watermelon Cocktails and the Last Flash of Summer

Summer, it’s slipping away from us.  It’s going out with the muggy evenings and thunderstorms.  Except it's quietly creeping, instead of flashing and booming away into the distance. 

But just like that, it will be gone.  If I had my way, I’d be sitting in a creaky rocking chair on an old wooden porch watching the thunderbolts in the distance and listening to Lana Del Rey, with summer disintegrating around me. 

And sipping this cocktail.  This watermelon number is a doozy. The perfect base for a lazy evening.  It took kindly to white tequila and a salted glass rim last week. But it would work equally with Boston-based Bully Boy's white whiskey, which has a sweet, very slight smokiness to it. 

As for Lana?  Her song “Videogames” is the quintessential late summer melody.  It’s sultry.  Heady.  You want it to last a little bit longer.  Sipping a strong watermelon drink and listening to her just lends itself to romancing about summer memories.

Singing in the old bars. Swinging with the old stars.  Living for the fame.  Kissing in the blue dark. Playing pool and wild darts.  Video games.

Ohhh, she’s good.  Something about her haunting lyrics paired with this drink makes saying goodbye to summer a little easier.

So so long sun dresses.  And tan lines.  Carefree evenings.  And leaving the back door open. I’m not sure if the watermelon or the whiskey will run out first. But I can’t think of a better way for it to go.

Watermelon Cocktail


1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
1 small watermelon (or about 6 cups cut in 1" chunks)
2-3 limes, freshly squeezed
1.5-1.75 cups of liquor (white tequila, bourbon, etc.)


Combine 1/2 cup sugar with 1/2 cup water to make a simple syrup in a saucepan.  Heat sugar water on medium heat until sugar dissolves completely.  Set aside.

Blend watermelon with the juice of two limes in a food processor or blender; add simple syrup. (Depending on the size of your processor you may have to do this in two batches.)  Taste and add the juice of another lime depending on preference.  Add booze.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add watermelon mixture.  Shake mixture and strain into glasses with additional ice cubes.  

Makes about 6 cocktails 

-I love margaritas with salt.  If you'd like to salt the rim of your glass, rub a wedge of lime around the outer lip of your glass and then dip the glass upside down into a plate containing kosher salt.  You could also just use water, simply dip you glass in a small plate of water and then salt.

-If you are making margaritas, use white tequila.  It provides a cleaner flavor.  ("They" also say it provides less of a hangover.)  (Each drink has about 2 ounces of liquor in it.)

-This mixture can be frozen, with or without booze, until it is needed.  Defrost the night before you plan to use it in your fridge.  (Note that it will not freeze completely if there is alcohol in it.)

-Lana Del Rey's song Video Games will be released on October 9th.  You can also listen to it here.  I first heard her from The Dinner Party Download.  All good stuff.


  1. Ugh. Sorry for the ridiculous number of posts that likely showed up in your Google Reader this morning. I switched to a new interface and blogger and I were having words.

  2. I very rarely make cocktails at home but I'm planning on making blueberry acai cocktails this weekend to say good-bye to summer!

  3. growing up in Boston, this would definitely be the time of year when the evenings + mornings start feeling crisp + fall-like, + summer clothes give way for warmer ones. now that i live in Nashville, summer stretches through September, sometimes even through October, so the sundresses stay out, as do the boozy fruity cocktails. at times, i love it, but i have to admit, a pair of jeans + a bowl of chili sounds awfully appealing right now!

  4. And here I was using watermelon to make gazpacho...WHAT WAS I THINKING???? We here in The Great Plains are not sorry to see summer go...in fact, we're loading her and her 105+ degree luggage into the Falcon station wagon and zooming to the bus station. She's not invited back until she behaves better. Now I'm wondering if tequila will interface well with the gazpacho....

  5. looks so delicious and refreshing!!!


  6. the trouble with watermelon, which i love, is that they're always too big for one person to eat before they turn to the dark side. i appreciate new and boozy uses for the stuff. :)

  7. This looks like the perfect drink to try and convince summer to stick around ;)

  8. a fond farewell to summer indeed. I have 'watermelon' on my fingers and toes. (An Essie nail polish, the exact same color of this drink!!)

  9. Summer is just getting started here, so I've bookmarked this! Sounds absolutely delish.

  10. Forgot to say in the instructions that I strained the pulp out before I mixed the watermelon liquid with tequila. You certainly wouldn't have to, would depend on your preference, but just an FYI.

    Happy dog days of summer and thanks for stopping by!

  11. What a nice little tribute to the last remaining days of summer. I love fruity cocktails and this watermelon one sounds so refreshing!

  12. This summer I had watermelon juice, but never thought about turning it into a cocktail! What a perfect summer drink that would be.