Watermelon rind finds a new life as a tender-crisp cocktail garnish in this sparkling cocktail, while fresh ginger adds a little heat.
- For the Pickled Watermelon Rind:
- 1 small watermelon, about 4 pounds
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 4 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 (4-inch) cinnamon stick, broken in half
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
- 2 cloves, whole
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, whole
- For the Ginger Infused Vodka:
- 1 cup peeled fresh ginger root, sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 2 cups vodka
- For each cocktail:
- 1 1/2 ounces Ginger Infused Vodka
- 1/4 ounce dry vermouth such as Dolin
- 3 ounces chilled Prosecco
- Pickled Watermelon Rind, for garnish
For the Pickled Watermelon Rind: Using a vegetable peeler, remove outer green layer of skin from watermelon (if you have a smaller watermelon, cut the bottom and top ends off so you can stand your watermelon up to peel. If it’s larger, cut in half to stand up). Discard skin. Cut rind into 1-inch cubes and reserve pink flesh for another use.
Combine apple cider vinegar, sugar, water, salt, cinnamon sticks, peppercorns, bay leaf, chili pepper flakes, cloves, and coriander seeds in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add watermelon rind, return to a boil and boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and carefully place a heatproof plate on top of the rind to keep it submerged as the mixture comes to room temperature.
Once cool, transfer entire mixture to an airtight container and let stand in refrigerator for at least 2 days and up to 2 weeks.
For the Ginger Infused Vodka: Combine vodka and ginger in an airtight container. Let stand in a cool, dark place for 5 days or to your desired spiciness, up to 14 days total. Strain into an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 6 months.
For each cocktail: Combine Ginger Infused Vodka and vermouth in a mixing glass and fill two-thirds full with ice. Stir until well chilled, about 20 seconds. Strain into a small wine glass or coupe. Top with Prosecco and garnish with the pickled watermelon rind.
saucepan, strainer, airtight containers