Finally, a drink I don’t have to begin describing by saying “we worked backwards on this one.” Andrew and I first tasted a new organic coconut-rum months ago and immediately knew we had to use it – it’s delicious. We also immediately knew it would fit perfectly with crushed ice and plenty of Matusalem rum in the “seasonal patio cocktail” slot on the cocktail menu. These have typically been fruit-driven, beach drinks: refreshingly easy and a bit of a guilty pleasure.
Seeing no reason to deviate from this model, I went straight for the guava, which has proven to pair well with coconut in our most popular agua fresca. Next came the kaffir leaf, which pairs well with guava, but had the unintended effect of making things taste like Thai food – tom kha gai soup specifically. We pulled the ginger element, dialed back the kaffir and went back to the drawing board. I tried various teas and pineapple juice to cut the guava’s thickness, but it wasn’t until I saw the pan of watermelon scraps in the prep kitchen that everything sort of clicked.
I try and re-appropriate anything the kitchen is using in their dishes whenever possible and this seemed like a no brainer – blend the scraps, save the juice. Lime and Falernum provide the brightness element with a touch of tiki on the back end.
Remembering a conversation Andrew and I had last summer about a salted melon garnish, we ended up using our marinated watermelon cubes from the salad as they’re dressed with all things delicious: lime, mint, chile arbol and salt.