The Mexican street-cart staple of juicy fruit, lime, and chili powder is transformed into a refreshing cocktail (with just a hint of spice).
- Yield:1 cocktail plus 1 cup melon infused gin
- Active time: 10 minutes
- Total time:3 days
- For the Melon-Infused Gin:
- 1 cup London Dry gin, such as Ford’s
- 1 cup chopped skinned and seeded cantaloupe (about 1/2 melon)
- For the Cilantro Simple Syrup:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup finely minced cilantro leaves and tender stems
- For the Cocktail:
- 2 ounces Melon-Infused Gin
- 3/4 ounce Cilantro Simple Syrup
- 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice from 1 lime
- 1/2 ounce Dolin Blanc vermouth
- Pinch cayenne pepper, plus more for garnish
- Melon slice, for garnish
For the Melon-Infused Gin: Combine gin and cantaloupe in an airtight container; cantaloupe should be completely covered with gin. Let stand at room temperature for 3 days. Strain into a clean bottle. Refrigerate up to 6 months.
For the Cilantro Simple Syrup: Combine water with sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Add cilantro and let stand for 1 hour. Strain out cilantro. Cool before using. Simple syrup will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
For the Cocktail: Combine melon-infused gin, cilantro simple syrup, lime, vermouth, and pinch cayenne pepper in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake until well chilled, about 15 seconds.
Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a melon slice sprinkled with additional cayenne and serve immediately.