Sweet Surrender

Ditch the processed, sugar-laden drink mixes and whip up these blended cocktails with hydrating coconut water, melon, crisp cucumbers, tart citrus, fresh herbs and a little spice. Use Honey Simple Syrup with rich caramel notes to balance smoky mezcal or tequila for just the right amount of sweet.

WRITTEN, STYLED & PHOTOGRAPHED BY KARA MICKELSON


Mezcal Watermelon, Honey & Pineapple Slush

Serves 6

  • 1 yellow watermelon*, approximately ¾ cup watermelon flesh per drink
  • 3–6 ounces mezcal liquor
  • 6 tablespoons Honey Simple Syrup (recipe below)
  • grilled watermelon or pineapple wedge, for garnish
  • ¾ cup 100% pineapple juice

Wash melon and cut in half. Quarter each half. Reserve two sections for garnish. Use a spoon to scoop the watermelon flesh into a zip-top bag or airtight container. Gently crush the watermelon in the bag to break up the pieces and release the juice. Combine mezcal and Honey Simple Syrup. Add to melon and soak overnight.

Slice remaining watermelon or a pineapple into wedges approximately 1-inch thick. Wipe surface of each slice with paper towel to remove excess moisture. Heat grill pan to high. Place slices on grill and turn after 2 minutes or when grill marks are noticeable on the edges. Repeat to create a cross-hatched pattern.

Place ingredients into a blender and pulse until frothy. Pour into individual glasses. Top drink with a drizzle of pineapple juice and serve with grilled watermelon or pineapple wedges.

*A wide variety of melons can be substituted such as cantaloupe, honeydew or regular watermelon.

 

Cucumber, Coconut, Lemon, Basil, Tequila Crush

Serves 6

  • 6 peeled Persian cucumbers, chopped (approximately 1½ cups)
  • 8–9 ounces tequila, 80 proof
  • 12 lemons, juiced, seeds removed
  • 1½–2 cups 100% coconut water
  • 6–12 tablespoons Honey Simple Syrup (recipe below)
  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • sliced cucumber and basil leaves, for garnish

Place all ingredients except basil into blender and blend until thoroughly combined. Pour mixture into an airtight container and refrigerate. Chill about 1 hour. Remove from refrigerator and place ingredients back into blender. Add torn basil leaves and blend until frothy. Pour directly into glasses or strain and serve. Add basil leaf and cucumber garnish. Adjust sweetness as desired.

 

Honey Simple Syrup

  • ¾ cup honey
  • ¼ water

Heat honey and water in a small saucepan until honey dissolves, or heat in microwave using short bursts until completely liquid. Be careful not to overheat. Cool to room temperature and place in an airtight container. Thin with additional water as needed. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. Stir before pouring

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