What is your definition of a vacation? The dictionary defines it as “a period of time that a person spends away from home, school, or business usually in order to relax or travel”. My definition is “a period of time when I am not in charge of meal prep, laundry or any other form of housework”!
I may not be alone in that thought. This brief article from The Onion tells the story of a North Carolina woman who was renting a house near the ocean and could see the beautiful blue water as she cleaned the bathroom and prepared meals for her family, just as she does at home. Funny, but while she may have “traveled”, it doesn’t sound like she “relaxed”.
Beginning this weekend, I will have a new view from my kitchen window and I am really excited. Although I will still be making meals and doing laundry, my hope is to slow down a bit, spend time with my friends, read some books, go on some long walks and attempt to unplug on occasion. My plan is to continue blogging while I am away but I will let you know if that changes due to unforeseen toes in the sand.
Watermelon is everywhere right now, in salads with feta and mint, in sorbet and salsa recipes and also in cocktails! I always have some in my fridge because my younger daughter loves it for snacking. Watermelon chunks are easily pureed in a blender to make a delicious “juice” that can be used in cocktails or as a fruity addition to water. I came across a recipe for a Watermelon-Mint cocktail on the website Pop Sugar and wanted to give it a try this past holiday weekend. The inspiration recipe had watermelon and lime juices, vodka, mint leaves, agave and St. Germain, a liqueur that has become very popular on cocktail menus.
A product of France, St. Germain is made using elderflower blossoms that are hand picked in the Alps and transported by bicycle to their place of processing. The liqueur has fruity notes and works well in many mixed drinks. The classic “St. Germain cocktail” consists of 2 parts Champagne, 1 1/2 parts St. Germain, 2 parts club soda and a lemon twist. Light and refreshing I imagine. The Queen Bee (grapefruit juice, vodka, St. Germain and champagne), is a delicious signature cocktail at The Beehive in Boston’s South End that I enjoyed recently.
My husband and I gave the inspiration cocktail a try together (yes, I convinced him to try a pink drink!). We liked it, but the agave flavoring was not our favorite. I tweaked the recipe by making a simple syrup infused with the mint leaves and changed the percentage of ingredients used a bit.
I served the final recipe to some girlfriends who stopped by this week before we went out to dinner at a fairly new Korean restaurant in the area. One friend thought it was delicious but strong. The rest of us emptied our glasses. Did I mention it’s summer?
The inspiration recipe was written for one cocktail, but my recipe is written for six so you can make a pitcher ahead and enjoy time with your guests. You can adjust the recipe to make more or less as needed. All you really need is a measuring cup and a blender to make your watermelon juice! I’m naming this cocktail The Pink Holiday because you’ll hopefully feel like you are on vacation when you’re drinking it!
I hope you have an occasion to make The Pink Holiday soon! Cheers!
Ingredients for the cocktail plus some hydrangeas from my garden…
The Pink Holiday, garnished with a melon ball, just like the inspiration cocktail. You can also add some mint leaves or a sliver of lime if you’d prefer…
If you make this recipe, please leave me a comment below and tell me what you think!
One Year Ago: Mango & Coconut Rice Salad
- 12 ounces or 1 1/2 cups fresh watermelon juice (see Tips below)
- 9 ounces vodka
- 6 ounces St. Germain Elderflower liqueur
- 5 ounces fresh lime juice (from 3-4 juicy limes)
- 2 ounces Mint Simple Syrup
- Mint leaves for shaking
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- Place water, sugar and mint leaves in a pan and bring to a boil. Stir until sugar has completely dissolved and then turn off the heat. Allow the syrup to steep for 30 minutes and then strain leaves with a fine mesh strainer. Store syrup in the refrigerator and use for cocktails or to flavor iced tea. Makes roughly 1 1/2 cups.
- Place the watermelon juice, vodka, St. Germain, lime juice and mint simple syrup in a pitcher. Mix until combined and taste. If you like your cocktails more tart or sweet, you can add additional lime juice or simple syrup. Chill mixture until ready to serve. Chill glasses if possible.
- When ready to serve, fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes and approximately 5 mint leaves. Give the watermelon mixture a big stir and add some to the cocktail shaker. Cover and shake until icy cold. Pour into glasses and serve immediately, garnished with watermelon balls, mint leaves or a sliver of lime!
Tips from The Kitchen Scout
To make watermelon juice, place roughly 2 1/2 cups of cubed "seedless" watermelon into a blender and puree. You can choose to strain the juice to eliminate any tiny seeds.
Looking forward to trying this (and earlier recipes) out! Hope you have a restorative time in LC, Val!!
Thanks, Timm! I hope you enjoy all of them!
Can’t wait to see you here in LC!!!!
Great summer post. We are big fans of St. Germain during the summer, and love their recipe for sangria!
Thanks, Sarah! I just took a look at their Sangria recipe. It looks delicious! I will give that a try sometime!