In our opinion, you can never have too much cool, refreshing watermelon on the menu, especially as the outdoor temps reach their peak. One way we’re making the most out of our favorite summer fruit is by whipping up this fizzy cocktail. It’s a great way to use the whole entire fruit—yep, even the rind! And this one packs a punch, too, thanks to fresh ginger and a splash of ginger beer. Cheers!Print
- 1½ cups white wine vinegar
- 1½ cups water
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 3-inch piece of ginger, slightly smashed
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorn
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 3½ cups watermelon rinds, greens of skin peeled, cut into 2-inch slices
- 1 jalapeño, sliced
- In a medium saucepan, combine vinegar, water, and sugar. Heat mixture over medium heat and cook until sugar has dissolved. Add salt, ginger, cinnamon, peppercorns, and cloves to the vinegar mixture and bring to a boil. Bring mixture to a gentle simmer, then add watermelon rinds and cook for 5-7 minutes or until softened. Set aside and let fully cool.
- Add sliced jalapeños to two 16-ounce glass jars with lids. Divide pickled watermelon rinds between the jars, cover. Chill for at least 24 hours before serving. These are great for snacking or cocktail garnishes! Note: Pickled watermelon rinds will last refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
For the Pickled Watermelon Rind:
- 1/2 small watermelon
- 1½ cups vinegar, such as apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- Fresh ginger, cut into 5 slices
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
For the cocktail:
- 2 sprigs mint
- Ginger, cut into 3 slices
- 3 ounces watermelon juice
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 1 ounce pickled watermelon rind liquid
- 1 1/2 ounces gin
- Ginger beer
- Pickled watermelon rind, for serving
- For the pickled watermelon rind, use a peeler to remove the outer green layer from the watermelon. Cut watermelon into 1-inch wedges and remove flesh. (A little pink leftover on the rind is okay.) Set aside flesh for juicing). Cut the rind into 1-inch cubes and set aside.
- In a medium pot, combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt, ginger slices, cinnamon stick, black peppercorns, and fennel seed. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Add watermelon rind to the pot and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let mixture come to room temperature. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for at least 8 hours and up to 2 weeks.
- Prepare watermelon juice by adding watermelon flesh into a blender and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Strain by pouring juice over a mesh sieve into a large glass or bowl. Then, set aside.
- For the cocktail, muddle mint springs and ginger slices in the tumbler of a shaker. Add watermelon juice, simple syrup, pickled watermelon rind liquid, gin, and ice. Shake until the tumbler is cold, about 30 seconds. Fill a rocks glass half way with ice and then strain the cocktail over top. Top with a splash of ginger beer and garnish with a pickled watermelon rind on a skewer. Cheers!