About 10 years ago, my mom and I went to a cocktail party.
She never went empty-handed and liked to bring a bottle of freshly infused ginger vodka wrapped with a yellow silk ribbon.
When we arrived, our friends were always happy to see the brightly adorned and intoxicatingly delicious libation which we typically served with seltzer and wedge of lime.
On that night, a rare event occurred, our friends had no seltzer as they had planned on just serving wine and still water for non-drinkers. As the guests arrived, seeing the bottle on the bar, they were curious to try it, but there was nothing to mix it with. A few brave ones tried it neat or on the rocks, and enjoyed it just like it was.
Then, one straggler, a foodie with a flair for Indochine cuisine, arrived. He came bearing a platter of handmade spring rolls and a pitcher of watermelon punch. When he saw my mother’s infused vodka on the bar he poured a shot in a glass and topped it off with his punch. Soon other guests followed suit.
By the end of the night both the pitcher was empty and the last drops of vodka were drank. All were merry and left asking what was in the punch.
1 small seedless watermelon
2 limes cut into wedges
Freshly grated ginger to taste
2 tablespoons Turbinado sugar
1 to 2 bottles seltzer
Cut a watermelon in half. Scoop out the pulp of the watermelon from each side. Place it in a food processor and puree until liquified. Pour watermelon puree in an air tight container add Turbinado sugar, ginger and limes. Let it marinate overnight.
For those of us who want to make the adult version of this drink. Buy one quart of vodka. My mother used Luksusowa potato vodka. Peel a large root of ginger. Cut it into chunks small enough to fit in the bottle. Infuse for a day or two at room temperature. When it reaches the desired strength of ginger taste, pour vodka into another container to strain out ginger. You will need a funnel to pour the vodka back into its original bottle.
To serve add equal parts selzer and watermelon purée mixture over ice in an old fashioned glass. To spike it add a shot of chilled ginger vodka.
It tastes great with spring rolls and it is a perfect accompaniment to cucumber avocado sushi.
Author: Jane CoCo Cowles
Image: eatingeast/ Flickr
Editors: Khara-Jade Warren; Caitlin Oriel