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This cocktail combines cognac, which many people associate with colder weather, with watermelon, a summer staple. Hibiscus and sumac lend acidity and a touch of heat from jalapeño brings balance.
2 cups of diced watermelon
Sugar, to taste (I usually use none)
6-8 ounces of cognac, prefer a bolder and higher proof one like Larsen Aqua Ignis or Ferrand 1840
Jalapeño pepper for garnish
Add the watermelon to a blender and process until liquid, add the hibiscus and sumac and process for a few seconds more. Allow to steep for a few hours in the refrigerator, then fine strain to remove any pulp/solids.
Taste the juice and adjust sweetness as necessary, add the cognac, stir to combine, then divide between 4 glasses over crushed ice.
Garnish with a jalapeño slice.
• The watermelon, sumac, and hibiscus is a great base for gazpacho, but add them at the start so they break down more as you won't be filtering. Add chopped onion, tomatoes, garlic, cucumber, jalapeño, fresh mint, and olive oil, blend and adjust to taste with salt and sherry vinegar.
Food images and recipe © Christian Leue.
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