Watermelon Cucumber Tonic

Eat, Drink & Be Literary With BAM

cucumber watermelon tonic

Pro Tip:

Taste your watermelon. A pinch of salt can help bring out the flavors and, if it’s not sweet enough, feel free to add a pinch of sugar, especially if you’re going to combine it with soda water.

Great Performances has long partnered with BAM and the National Book Foundation on Eat, Drink & Be Literary, a unique series for readers, writers, and diners. Now adapted for the digital space, the series welcomes world-renowned authors Sigrid Nunez, Tayari Jones, and Luis Alberto Urrea for these one-night-only live events. Find out more about the series here.

Great Performances will be crafting a new cocktail each month and we’ll be sharing two versions: a cocktail and a zero-proof cocktail so that everyone can enjoy! Cheers!

WATERMELON CUCUMBER TONIC

Although this Watermelon Cucumber Tonic is a bit more complicated than some other cocktails, we think it’s worth it to prepare the juice from scratch. As a shortcut, you can purchase watermelon juice and use Hendricks Gin to get some of the cucumber flavors. Adding a garnish of a slice of cucumber and a sprig of mint will bring the cocktail together nicely.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cubed seeded watermelon, divided

  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, divided

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, divided

  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, sliced, and divided (about 3 cups)

  • 2 1/2 cups tonic water, chilled

  • 1 1/4 cups of gin

Garnish

  • Mint leaves
  • Cucumber slices
  • Watermelon wedges

Procedure

  1. Prepare the Watermelon Cucumber Juice. Combine half of each watermelon, mint, lemon juice, and cucumber in a blender or food processor. Line a fine sieve with 4 layers of cheese-cloth, allowing cheesecloth to extend over edges. Strain watermelon mixture through prepared sieve over a bowl, reserving juice mixture. Gather the edges of the cheesecloth together. Holding cheesecloth over sieve, squeeze to release the remaining juice mixture. Discard solids. Repeat procedure with remaining watermelon, mint, juice and cucumber.
  2. Make the Cocktail. Combine 2 1/2 cups juice mixture with the tonic water and gin, stirring well to combine. Pour over ice and garnish with mint, cucumber, and watermelon wedges.

ZERO PROOF WATERMELON CUCUMBER TONIC

If you’ve already prepared the watermelon cucumber juice for the above version, you can use any remaining here. Alternatively, you could purchase watermelon juice from the grocery store. Adding a garnish of a slice of cucumber and a sprig of mint will bring the drink together nicely.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cubed seeded watermelon, divided

  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, divided

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, divided

  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, sliced, and divided (about 3 cups)

  • 2 1/2 cups tonic water or soda water, chilled

Garnish

  • Mint leaves
  • Cucumber slices
  • Watermelon wedges

Procedure

  1. Prepare the Watermelon Cucumber Juice. Combine half of each watermelon, mint, lemon juice, and cucumber in a blender or food processor. Line a fine sieve with 4 layers of cheese-cloth, allowing cheesecloth to extend over edges. Strain watermelon mixture through prepared sieve over a bowl, reserving juice mixture. Gather the edges of the cheesecloth together. Holding cheesecloth over sieve, squeeze to release the remaining juice mixture. Discard solids. Repeat procedure with remaining watermelon, mint, juice and cucumber.
  2. Make the Cocktail. Combine 2 1/2 cups juice mixture with the tonic water or soda water, stirring well to combine. Pour over ice and garnish with mint, cucumber, and watermelon wedges.

Rosemary Salty Dog

Eat, Drink & Be Literary With BAM

Salty Dog Cocktail

Pro Tip:

Rosemary can be a potent herb and we enjoy it’s distinctive woodsy/piney scent which compliments the grapefruit in this cocktail. We don’t want to overpower the cocktail, which is why we’re not muddling it as we typically do with other herbs in cocktails.

Great Performances has long partnered with BAM and the National Book Foundation on Eat, Drink & Be Literary, a unique series for readers, writers, and diners. Now adapted for the digital space, the series welcomes world-renowned authors Sigrid Nunez, Tayari Jones, and Luis Alberto Urrea for these one-night-only live events. Find out more about the series here.

Great Performances will be crafting a new cocktail each month and we’ll be sharing two versions: a cocktail and a zero-proof cocktail so that everyone can enjoy! Cheers!

ROSEMARY SALTY DOG

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ oz gin

  • ½ oz simple syrup

  • 2 oz red grapefruit juice

  • ½ inch rosemary sprig

Garnish

  • Sprig of rosemary
  • Salt

Procedure

Rim a martini glass with salt. In a cocktail shaker, combine gin, simple syrup, grapefruit juice, and rosemary sprig. Shake well. Strain into prepared highball glass and garnish with a sprig of rosemary

ZERO PROOF ROSEMARY SALTY DOG

Ingredients

  • ½ inch sprig rosemary

  • ½ oz simple syrup

  • 2 oz red grapefruit juice

  • Club soda

Garnish

  • Sprig of rosemary
  • Salt

Procedure

Rim a highball glass with salt and fill with ice. In a cocktail shaker, combine rosemary, simple syrup, and grapefruit juice and shake well. Strain into prepared highball glass, top with club soda, and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

Strawberry Mint Caipirinha

Eat, Drink & Be Literary With BAM

Strawberry Mint Caipirinha cocktail

Pro Tip:

When you’re muddling ingredients, make sure you press down and twist to extract maximum essential oils and juices. Adding granulated sugar can also help break down the ingredients.

Great Performances has long partnered with BAM and the National Book Foundation on Eat, Drink & Be Literary, a unique series for readers, writers, and diners. Now adapted for the digital space, the series welcomes world-renowned authors Sigrid Nunez, Tayari Jones, and Luis Alberto Urrea for these one-night-only live events. Find out more about the series here.

Great Performances will be crafting a new cocktail each month and we’ll be sharing two versions: a cocktail and a zero-proof cocktail so that everyone can enjoy! Cheers!

STRAWBERRY MINT CAIPIRINHA

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 oz. Leblon Cachaça
  • 4 Fresh strawberries
  • 5 Mint leaves – torn
  • 2 dashes simple syrup

Garnish

  • Sprig of mint

Procedure

Place the strawberries and mint leaves in a shaker and muddle well. Add Leblon Cachaça, simple syrup and fill with ice. Shake vigorously and pour into a highball glass.

ZERO PROOF STRAWBERRY MINT CAIPIRINHA

Ingredients

  • 4 fresh strawberries
  • 5 mint leaves – torn
  • 2 dashes simple syrup
  • Strawberry Perrier

Garnish

  • Sprig of mint

Procedure

Place the strawberries, mint leaves and simple syrup in the bottom of a high ball glass and muddle well. Top with Strawberry Perrier, stir gently to combine, and garnis with a sprig of mint.

Green Tea Mojito

Eat, Drink & Be Literary With BAM

Green Tea Mojito

Pro Tip:

Before you add your sprig of mint as a garnish, place it in one hand, cup both hands, and clap your hands together to gently bruise the mint to release some of the essential oils. This will give you a whiff of mint each time you take a sip.

Great Performances has long partnered with BAM and the National Book Foundation on Eat, Drink & Be Literary, a unique series for readers, writers, and diners. Now adapted for the digital space, the series welcomes world-renowned authors Sigrid Nunez, Tayari Jones, and Luis Alberto Urrea for these one-night-only live events. Find out more about the series here.

Great Performances will be crafting a new cocktail each month and we’ll be sharing two versions: a cocktail and a zero-proof cocktail so that everyone can enjoy! Cheers!

GREEN TEA MOJITO

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon of lime juice

  • 4 large mint leaves

  • 2 teaspoons of sugar

  • 1/3 cup of brewed organic green tea

  • 2 Tablespoons of White Rum

Garnish

  • Lime wheel

  • Sprig of mint

Procedure

Pour lime juice, mint leaves, and sugar into a glass.  Muddle mixture.  Fill glass with ice and add organic green tea and white rum.  Stir well and serve.

ZERO PROOF GREEN TEA MOJITO

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon of lime juice

  • 4 large mint leaves

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1/3 cup of brewed organic green tea

  • 2 Tablespoons of white grape juice

Garnish

  • Lime wheel

  • Sprig of mint

Procedure

Pour lime juice, mint leaves, and sugar into a glass.  Muddle mixture.  Fill glass with ice and add organic green tea and white grape juice.  Stir well and serve. 

We love this mocktail because it is the perfect way to make everyone (those who are pregnant, avoiding alcohol, on medication, or just don’t feel like having a drink) feel welcome at your special event. 

THE PERFECT NEGRONI

by Chris Harkness, Director of Food and Beverage

Now that we all have become our own “at home” bartenders, we all strive to make our cocktails perfect. But in the cocktail world, the word “perfect” has a whole separate meaning. A “perfect cocktail” is made by using 50% sweet vermouth and 50% dry vermouth. Using this method of mixology, it offers a balance to traditional cocktails that use all sweet  vermouth. Examples of these would be the Negroni and the Manhattan where the sweet vermouth acts as a rounder to the ingredients. When you take away that sweetness you get a well-rounded cocktail that gives you more of the notes of the bourbon or the gin. Both cocktails use citrus to help round them out. In the cocktails that use all dry vermouth, such as the martini, adding a sweet vermouth or an aromatized wine can add complexity and surprise to your guests.

Having the right tools is important, its great to have a cocktail pitcher, a jigger, a stirrer and a strainer, a good website is cocktailkingdom.com to find all your professional needs.

Great Performances Negroni

INGREDIENTS

PROCEDURE

  • 1 oz citrus-infused gin (or citrus-forward gin of choice)

  • 1 oz Campari

  • 1/2 oz Carpano Anitca Formula

  • .1/2 oz Martini and Rossi Dry Vermouth

  • 2 dashes orange bitters

  • Mix all the measured components in a cocktail pitcher with ice.

  • Note: it is better to use a 1”x1” cube when stirring to not water down the cocktail.

  • Stir until ice cold.

  • Pour into a strainer over ice in a well-suited rocks glass.

  • Garnish with a dried blood orange wheel.

FOR THE INFUSION

Add 8 ounces of gin (we like Aviation) into Great Performances Dried Citrus Cocktail Kit. Steep overnight, strain out the gin and hold.

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