Few things are as summery as melon. Cold, fresh, icy watermelon on a hot day takes me right back to splashing around in the paddling pool, staying out in the garden until late during the school holidays, and wafting flies away with sticky hands. You know what’s also awesome in summer? Ice lollies. Rocket lollies, especially. And cocktails.
If only there was a magical way to combine these great things in to a handy and refreshing recipe (or two)?
After purchasing what can only be a small tree’s worth of skewers for my tofu recipe post, I have tasked myself with using up every last one of them on blog-worthy experiments. So consider this the first in a series too (just like my Cauliflower Chronicles will be).
Summer grub is all about skewers and what better way to enjoy sticky, sweet fruit without having to get your hands dirty?
I have a 2 for 1 recipe extravaganza for you today. First, how to recreate all the icy-cold sugary fun of a rocket lolly without the artificial colours or preservatives…
You need 3 types of melon – I used watermelon, honeydew and cantaloup. I was using leftovers so my shapes and sizes are a bit all over the shop, but if you’re starting with (and able to carry) lovely fresh whole shiny new melons, you’ll be sorted and can make loads.
This is easy – cut triangles of increasing size in each colour melon – whichever order you like. Lop the pointy bits off the medium and largest chunks to make your 3 pieces fit together well. Push carefully on to skewers, squeeze a wedge of lime over the top and freeze on a metal tray for at least 3 hours.
Now the grown-up bit. Cocktail hour! We love a good G&T at home and since acquiring this beautiful original vintage G-Plan drinks cabinet from my boss when we moved house, we’ve worked hard at keeping a well-stocked bar.
Although that photo doesn’t show it as well-stocked, as I took it the day it arrived. Gareth was given a really excellent bottle of 6 O’clock gin as thanks for helping friends design their wedding invitation (because he does things like that). It was ideal for this as it has a hint of citrus, but use whichever your favourite brand is (and let me know!).
Watermelon Gin & Tonic
(Our fabulous flamingo glasses were a house-warming/bar-warming gift from my dad, but they are from Ikea)
I’m no ‘mixologist’ and have somehow managed to avoid ever working behind a bar, but I love a nice easy DIY cocktail and particularly love a fruity gin and tonic.
You need: (serves 2)
Pieces of watermelon – from about 2-3 wedges (or whatever is spare after making your rocket lollies!)
Wedge of fresh lime
Gin of your choice
Tonic of your choice
Cocktail shaker (or pestle & mortar and a small sieve or tea strainer)
1 – Squeeze the fresh lime over your watermelon pieces. Don’t discard the wedge.
2 – Add the watermelon and lime wedge to your cocktail shaker with plenty of ice.
3 – Vigorously shake your cocktail shaker, letting the ice muddle and chill the melon.
4 – Pour the strained, chilled melon syrup in to a glass or small jug.
5 – Fill a pair of short tumblers with ice and divide the melon syrup between them, pouring over the ice.
6 – Add one of your melon rocket lollies to each glass, pouring a shot (or two!) of gin over the melon, and topping with tonic.
Tada! Fruity, natural ice lollies and a refreshing, sweet cocktail. Perfect for summer evenings and sweet enough for an after-dinner treat.