Watermelon Cucumber Punch

little Connie gives Harrison a farewell kiss

This weekend we threw a Bon Voyage party for Nightwood's fabulous hostess/daytime manager Laurel, and her boyfriend Harrison. They are moving to Portland Oregon. I wanted to make a self-serve punch for the party so I would have time to mingle.

I sifted through several cocktail books and vintage punches for the perfect combination of flavors for the occasion, and in the end, decided to make my own recipe. Channeling spring, I went with a watermelon cucumber punch, inspired by a cocktail I had at Aviary (see post below). The punch has cucumber serrano infused vodka (delicious on its own!), Mezcal (see tequila vs. mezcal post), watermelon juice and fresh squeezed lime. Depending on the sweetness of the watermelon, you may want to add a touch of sugar. This punch has a hint of spice from the serrano, some smoke from the Mezcal, and looks beautiful in a punch bowl. This will make a great punch for a hot summer day...hopefully coming soon!

Watermelon Cucumber Punch
2 parts fresh squeezed watermelon juice. (puree watermelon in blender and strain in chinoise)
1/2 part Mescal
1 1/2 part cucumber serrano infused vodka (see recipe below)
3/4 part fresh lime juice (I prefer to strain pulp)
1/4 part simple syrup (1:1 ratio sugar to water)

Prebatch ingredients and chill until ready to serve. Serve in vintage punch bowl with block of watermelon ice. I used a heart shaped cake mold and filled it with left over watermelon juice. Empty milk cartons also make great ice molds. Garnish with cucumber slices or watermelon balls.

Cucumber Serrano infused Vodka
Bottle of vodka (I used Titos)
2 cucumbers peeled and thinly sliced.
1 serrano chili sliced lengthwise with seeds removed.

Put ingredients into glass container with lid. Let rest 48 hours in a cool, dark place. Strain, pour back into bottle and chill.

Notes: For a party of around 30 people I used a handle of Titos vodka (1.75L) and a 750 ml bottle of Mezcal. There was also plenty of wine and beer for guests. I am sharing the recipe with the measurements in "parts" which can easily be translated to ounces or cups for your convenience. A nice Mezcal can be pricy, as a substitute you might try using a smoky chili with the serrano when infusing the vodka.

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