Watermelon Cucumber Cooler, A Cocktail Recipe - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures Watermelon Cucumber Cooler, A Cocktail Recipe
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Watermelon Cucumber Cooler, A Cocktail Recipe

Looking for a special cocktail for Father’s Day? We love this Melon Mirage cocktail, what some might call a Watermelon Martini. But just because something has gin or vodka and is served in a Martini glass doesn’t make it a Martini—see Martini History below.

Yellow or orange watermelon, which you can find at farmers’ markets and specialty produce stores, makes it even more special.

We adapted this recipe from Arch Rock Fish restaurant in Santa Barbara. You can serve it in a Martini glass or any glass you like.

Ingredients For 4 Cocktails

  • 5 cups cubed seedless watermelon (about 1-1/2 pounds, to yield 2 cups of watermelon juice)
  • 1 large English cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2/3 cup vodka
  • Ice
  • Cucumber slices, for garnish

    Watermelon and vodka with a touch of honey (photo © Arch Rock Fish | Santa Barbara [alas, permanently closed]).


    Yellow watermelon (photo by Hannah Kaminsky | © THE NIBBLE).


    1. MUDDLE mint in the bottom of a large bowl or pitcher.

    2. PURÉE watermelon in a food processor or blender and sieve into the bowl, pressing with a rubber spatula.

    3. PURÉE the cucumber and sieve it into the bowl.

    4. WHISK the lime juice and honey together in a small bowl. Add to the juice mixture, stir, and add the vodka. Pour into glasses with ice cubes.

    5. GARNISH with a cucumber wheel and mint sprig.

    The original Martini, created in America, was a mixture of gin and vermouth, garnished with an olive.

    While not yet called the Martini, the 1888 Bartender’s Manual cites a recipe of half gin and half vermouth.

    The Italian vermouth maker, Martini, began marketing their product in 1863 and is thought by some to be the source of the cocktail’s name.

    Thanks to James Bond, the Vodka Martini, “Shaken, not stirred,” entered popular culture in the book “Diamonds Are Forever” (1956). Earlier, in “Casino Royale,” the first Bond novel (1953), Bond orders a cocktail later named the Vesper: gin, vodka, and Lillet, a fortified white wine, rather than vermouth.

    The Gibson is a Gin Martini garnished with a pickled cocktail onion. The oldest published recipe for the Gibson dates to 1908.

    In the 1990s, the concept of what a “Martini” was, took off like a rocket, with menus of hundreds of different Martini “flavors,” savory and sweet. Marketers like to ride on the coattails of something that’s already popular. But these are really…


    While adding espresso (not espresso liqueur) to a Vodka Martini could logically be called an Espresso Martini, turning it into a sweet drink, such as an Espresso Martini with espresso liqueur, a Chocolate Martini with chocolate liqueur, or an Appletini with apple liqueur, abandons the spirit of the savory Martini cocktail.

    There is no liqueur in a Martini: Call those sweet drinks something else!

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