Martha Stewart Living (July 2009)
On Sunday mornings we pay a visit to the farmers market, where we play a little game called "buy so much produce that we'll struggle to get through it all by week's end."
Recently, we've been obsessed with beautiful, impossibly sweet watermelons from one of the vendors. So we've bought one for the last few weeks and lugged it up the hill back home -- no small feat given the amount of other purchases we're carrying.
We've mostly been eating it as a dessert or a snack, cut up into big chunks and lightly salted. We've also made Tequila Soaked Watermelon wedges a couple times for parties and even Pickled Watermelon Rind.
This weekend, we couldn't resist whipping up a batch of these Watermelon Bloody Marys.
First things first: we're big Bloody Mary fans. We like 'em spicy, with a healthy dose of black pepper, horseradish and any manner of other spices we can find in our kitchen. And when we can get it, we love to start our bloodies with Zing Zang.
So a Watermelon Bloody Mary is a bit outside of our cocktail tastes, but we had to give this a try, given that we have all this fantastic watermelon sitting right in our kitchen.
The recipe is super simple. Purée the watermelon -- seeds and all -- with some sugar and then strain the juice. Add tomato juice, hot sauce, salt, celery seeds (or celery salt) and Worcestershire. Stir in some vodka, add some pepper for seasoning and garnish with celery and a watermelon slice. Easy, peasy.
We kept tasting as we went. The watermelon juice was lovely -- smooth, bright and sweet. With the addition of the tomato juice and spices, it started to taste like sweet Bloody Mary mix. With the vodka and pepper, it tasted, well, like a Bloody Mary with a hint of sweetness.
It's a nice cocktail and an interesting spin on the Bloody Mary if you're having friends over for brunch. It's a fun twist that really brings out the fruity aspect of tomatoes.
But if you have a great watermelon, you may be better off serving some spiked watermelon juice, to really show off the fantastic summer fruit. We were glad to try it -- we're always happy to sample a new take on Bloody Marys -- but we probably wouldn't make it again.
So it's back to the drawing board for Bloody Marys. Our food magazines are actually chock full of Bloody Mary recipes right now -- many of them using fresh tomatoes and one with more than 15 ingredients!
Perhaps a Bloody Mary taste-test is in order...?
This not-just-for-brunch cocktail gets a light sweetness from watermelon juice. Freshly ground celery seeds add complexity, while dashes of Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces give it a kick.
Serves 4 adults, with juice for 4 children
* 12 cups watermelon chunks (from one 4-pound watermelon, rind removed), plus pieces, for serving
* 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
* Ice, for serving
* 1 1/2 cups tomato juice
* 13 dashes hot sauce, such as Tabasco, or to taste
* 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
* 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
* 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds, ground with a mortar and pestle, or celery salt
* Freshly ground pepper
* 1 to 1 1/4 cups vodka
* Celery stalks, for serving
1. Working in batches, puree watermelon (with seeds) and sugar in blender. Strain into a bowl through a fine sieve, pressing with a rubber spatula; discard solids. (You will have 5 1/2 cups juice.)
2. For children's drinks: Divide 2 1/2 cups juice among 4 ice-filled glasses.
3. For adults' drinks: Stir remaining 3 cups watermelon juice with tomato juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and celery seeds in a bowl set in a larger bowl of ice. Season with pepper. Stir in vodka and divide among 4 ice-filled glasses.
4. Garnish adult drinks with a piece of watermelon and a celery stalk.