being from the midwest, nothing says summer entertaining like watermelon. this refresher allows for both an alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions in order to have all guests the ability to partake in the fun. i also suggest that you put the two versions in different glasses so as to avoid any confusion with “leaded” vs. “non-leaded” libations.
for this application, i have chosen to construct a shrub, which is basically a fruit juice that has been acidified with vinegar. this particular shrub is a quite simple mixture of 11 cups of watermelon that has been pureed with a blender and then strained through a fine mess strainer to remove the solids. to add depth to the shrub, we will also be constructing a thyme infused simple syrup. to make the thyme simple syrup, add 1 bunch of thyme to 2 cup of water and 2 cups of white sugar, simmer for 10 minutes and then allow to cool to room temperature. remove the thyme from the sugar and water before use. add the cooled compound syrup to the 11 cups of watermelon juice as well as 2 cups of plain white distilled vinegar. stir to incorporate. shelf life for the shrub is about a 2 weeks.
to construct the drink combine:
1.5 oz. el jolgorio nuestra soladad mezcal
1 oz. watermelon shrub
0.5 oz. imbue “petal and thorn”
0.5 oz. fresh lime juice
splash of q ginger ale
combine all ingredients, except ginger ale in a cocktail shaker and add ice. shake for 20 seconds and strain into a collins glass filled with fresh ice and garnish with a sprig of thyme.
to make the non-alcoholic version, remove the el jolgorio mezcal and petal and thorn and replace with 1 oz. chamomile tea and a bit more ginger ale.