Watermelon Smash – Dani Valent

A fruity syrup for cocktails and coolers plus the recipe to help you out of a rind-in-bin pickle

I love using my Thermomix for drinks, especially cool summer cocktails. I’m all about short cuts too, and if you make this syrup ahead, you’re only one short minute from fabulous refreshing fizz whenever the moment seems ripe.

My Watermelon Smash uses a favourite flavour combination: watermelon, ginger and mint, then tops it off with gin and soda. Watch the video (and see the recipe) for ideas to make this a virgin cooler, or breakfast smoothie. Yes, I leave the gin out at breakfast, but no judgement if you want to leave it in ;)

Also check out my super easy pickle for watermelon rind and ginger. You know how you always have heaps of rind left when you chop into a juicy watermelon? Well, here’s a cool way to keep it, preserve it and eat it!

Serves: 4 (syrup is ample for 6L cocktails, ie. a big party)
Time: 15 minutes plus at least 1 hour pickling time

Pickled Rind

Ingredients

  • 100 grams (3.5 oz) water
  • 100 grams (3.5 oz) sugar (white or raw are both fine)
  • 100 grams (3.5 oz) apple cider vinegar
  • pinch fennel seeds
  • 1 cm ginger, finely sliced
  • rind from 600 grams (21 oz) watermelon, white and green part only, finely sliced

Method

1. Place water, sugar, vinegar and fennel seeds into mixing bowl and cook 3 min/100°C/speed 1.

2. Place ginger and watermelon slices in a heatproof bowl. Pour pickling liquid over ginger and watermelon and allow to cool. Leave for 1-3 hours before straining. Store pickles in fridge and serve with cocktail. Pickles keep for around 5 days and can also be eaten with cold meats and tacos.

Watermelon Smash

Ingredients

Watermelon Smash syrup

  • 600 grams (21 oz) watermelon, rind retained if desired
  • 3 cm ginger, roughly chopped
  • ½ grapefruit, juice only
  • 60 grams (2.2 oz) rice malt syrup
  • 6 sprigs mint, plus extra for garnish

Cocktail

  • 200 grams (7 oz) Watermelon Smash syrup
  • 100 grams (3.7 oz) gin
  • 500 grams (17.6 oz) soda water
  • ice, to serve

Method

1. Make the syrup first by placing watermelon, ginger, grapefruit juice, rice malt syrup and mint into mixing bowl. Blitz 1 min/speed 10.

2. Place two layers of kitchen paper into steamer basket and place over a jug or bowl. Gently pour liquid into steamer basket and allow it to slowly drip through. Discard pulp. The liquid in the jug or bowl is your syrup.

3. To make the cocktail, rinse mixing bowl and return 200 grams of syrup to it. Add gin and soda water. Mix 10 sec/speed 3.

Pour over ice into tall glasses and serve with Pickled Rind.

Variations

Watermelon Smash Slushie –  Add 300 grams ice and blend 45 sec/speed 9 for a slushie version.

Watermelon Cooler  Omit gin for a virgin version.

Morning Smoothie Smash  Put ingredients for syrup, except rice malt syrup, into mixing bowl. Add 100 grams ice. Blend for 45 sec/speed 9 to make a smash smoothie.

Tip

  • Syrup keeps in the refrigerator for 1 week.
  • Pickles keep for 5 days (eat them with cold meats and tacos too).

Want more smashing cocktails? Try my deliciously zesty Peach Margarita, icy cold Frosé or Jesse Gerner’s refreshing Casa Daiquiri, featuring aromatic vermouth.

Looking for a zesty, fruity snack to spice up cocktail hour? Try sprinkling chef Sam Massari’s Chilli & Lime Crumb over cubed watermelon.

More about this video

My Leonard Street shirt dress has cute little geckos sitting on the flowers – can you spot them?

I love these hand-blown Mexican glasses, plucked from my super stylist Caroline Velik‘s treasure trove. Look for vintage Mexican glassware if you want to find something similar.

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I love my Elk top & Obus pants

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