Watermelon Mojito

“Candy is Dandy / But Liquor is Quicker.”—Ogden Nash

During the Yancey House years, the star ingredient was Suzanne Byrd Hawkins’ ripe Crimson Sweet watermelon.  Place several chunks (excluding seeds) in a food processor.  Puree for 30 seconds and then strain into a pitcher.

In a martini shaker, muddle 5 leaves of mint (I grow Kentucky Colonel mint—great for juleps) with 1 oz. sugar water and 1 oz. fresh lime juice. 

Side bar: Muddling is the gentle way of bruising mint in the bottom of the glass in order to release the mint’s essential oils.  You can also do it in a mortar and pestle.  The key is to slowly but firmly press; you don’t want the mint to turn into mush.  To make sugar water, heat 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water until sugar dissolves.  Refrigerate. 

Add 3 oz. watermelon juice and 1 1/2 oz. of Bacardi Light Rum.  Add ice and shake well.  Strain into old-fashioned glasses over ice.  For a non-alcoholic version, skip the rum. Garnish with lime or watermelon wedge.

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