If you know me at all, you know I am a big fan of vermouth.
No, not the old dusty bottle you have that you sometimes use to mix a martini. I actually still have yet to really fully understand the concept of the martini cocktail. Is it not just chilled gin/vodka? What's the big deal?
When I say vermouth, however, I'm talking about the red stuff. The sweet vermouth that in many parts of the world is drunk by the glassful before a meal.
At our recent vermuteke, the monthly party organized by Maite and I (aka International Society for the Preservation and Enjoyment of Vermouth), we got all choked up about summer coming to an end and decided to create a special cocktail to serve at the event. We based it around the artisan vermouth we were featuring this month, Martinez Lacuesta.
The inspiration started when Maite essentially lied to me, telling me she was bringing home two gigantic watermelons from her vacation in Croatia. Taking her words to heart (what was I thinking, that suddenly RyanAir has a fresh fruit baggage allowance?), I set to scheming up a simple drink, servable in mass quantity, that would really play up the unique taste of sweet vermouth.
The result was this punch, which was more delicious than we ever could have anticipated. I leave you the recipe below, which is of course scalable if you are at home with no army of vermouth lovers to help you put it away. It stays good for a few days in the fridge, though, so make enough to last!
vermouth watermelon punch
- 6 bottles red sweet vermouth, such as Lacuesta
- 1 bottle vodka
- 3 large watermelons
- 1 cup lime juice
- fruits for garnish (kiwi, orange, peach, think summer)
Carve off the watermelon rind, and, using a stick blender or food processor, liquify the watermelon flesh. Pass through a sieve if there are seeds.
Mix all ingredients and taste. I found that more vermouth could be added to a positive effect. Add the fruits for garnish and if desired, serve in one of the carved-out watermelons. Ladle over ice and enjoy!