There are some flavor pairings that are just natural and as lovely in their aroma as they are in taste. Watermelon and cucumber is one of those combinations and this refreshing cocktail displays that marriage perfectly.
The watermelon cucumber cooler recipe was created for Aviation Gin and it may be the only gin that could pull this drink off with such perfection. It is more of a floral and citrus gin, with juniper hanging out lightly in the background, and that is an ideal foundation for the watermelon-cucumber combo.
Watermelon is also one of the easiest fruit to juice, so it will not take long to get what you need for the drink. The easiest way is to simply muddle a few chunks and strain out the juice. This is a great use for that melon that always seems to be leftover after a picnic and the drink is easy enough that you could mix it up right there on the patio.
Gather the ingredients.
Press the watermelon to make juice (squeeze the watermelon in a juicer or muddle about three 1-inch chunks in a mixing glass). Strain and reserve 1 1/2 ounces of the juice.
Place the cucumber in mixing glass and muddle.
Add the gin, fruit juices, simple syrup, and salt. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
Fine strain into a highball glass filled with fresh ice. Top with soda water.
Garnish with a cucumber slice.
Serve and enjoy!
- Don't pass on the pinch of salt. Without it, this drink would be like a Bloody Mary without the black pepper: slightly bland, but tolerable.
- Fine straining is an essential step because it will remove the small fruit bits, including the seeds. It's very simple and should be done for both the watermelon juice and the cocktail to eliminate cucumber pieces. To do it, use your normal cocktail strainer while pouring through a fine-mesh strainer into the glass.
- If you're going to use a substitute for Aviation, try to choose a gin with a similarly soft profile. Hendrick's is a great choice and the gin's cucumber notes are a perfect accent for this drink.
- Sweeten up the drink with another clear, lightly flavored soda. Ginger ale or any citrus soda would be an excellent choice.
- You could even switch to a flavored simple syrup, which is easy to make at home. Think of complementary flavors for the melon and cucumber, such as basil, mint, strawberry, or vanilla. Ginger syrup would add a fun spice, too.