Help me make a Watermelon,Lime,Mint,Cachaca cocktail
I'm having a pool party for 25, and I'd like to make pitchers of the above cocktail. I made a Watermelon Margarita a few years ago that was well received. I have a bottle of Cachaca that I need to use up. I'm probably going to call this cocktail a "Watermelon Mojito" just to give my friends some idea of what it is.
None of us are cocktail afficianados, but I don't want to make anything gross, either. I'll juice fresh limes and make simple syrup if I have to, but is there anyway I could use some frozen limeade as a starting point? I'll juice and strain the watermelon. I have fresh mint in the garden. I have some Grand Marnier hanging around...would that improve things? If you think i should forget about using the Cachaca in favor of rum or tequila, please recommend a widely available brand.
I need ratios and methodology. Also, please explain club soda to me...could I use Pelligrino instead?
Thanks for helping a newbie.
If you are premixing cocktails, then there is no real reason to make simple syrup. Just predissolve the sugar with the rest of it. If those are the ingredients you wan't to make, then perhaps a punch is more in order? We could go with traditional punch ratios. 1 of Sour, 2 of Sweet, 3 of Strong, 4 of Weak. So, 1 of Sour would be Lime Juice, 2 of Sweet would be Watermelon, though you might want to add more watermelon or at least fortify it with some more sugar, or with limeade. 3 of Strong would be your Cachaca. 4 of Weak could be a club soda.
As always, fresh lime juice is certainly better, but that would be a lot of limes to juice.
As long as you use some fresh lime juice, then I think that you will be fine. It adds a different flavor. I think adding some Limeade wouldn't be too inappropriate.
For club soda, it's basically sparkling water. You can use Pelligrino if you want, but Pelligrino tends to be a bit more expensive and have some minerals in it, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Lightly muddle the mint in bottom of a punch bowl.
Add Watermelon Juice (I'd say 2 cups)
Add Half a can of Frozen Limeade(or enough concentrage for 4 cups of limeade)
Add Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice (I'd say 1 cup)
Add Cachaca (1 750 mL bottle or about 25 oz.)
Add Club Soda (I'd say 3 cups)
Make sure it's well mixed. You could float lime rings on top and have a BIG hunk of ice in it, maybe have the lime rings in the hunk of ice. Taste it and adjust to your preference. Although those ratios are traditional, I can't necessarily tell you that they will be perfect. Obviously, this is for just one bottle. That probably isn't enough booze to keep 25 people happy. You can increase the amount of each. Instead of tequila, you may want to use a Rum. Cruzan might work well here and is fairly low priced. If you wanted tequila, ideally, you would find something 100% Blue Agave, but that tends to be pricier. Something simpler like Sauza Blanco would work as a stand in. The Grand Marnier would possibly help the drink, but I personally wouldn't waste it.
All the suggestions I made are pretty bare bones and as low cost as I could make it. Think grad school. If you wanted something of higher quality, then simply up the quality of the booze and mixers. Some bitters would possibly help, Stirring's Blood Orange Bitters perhaps?
Whatever you do, experiment and have fun with it.
First of all, you say you have a single bottle of Cachaca that you need to use up. Unless your friends are VERY light drinkers, that's not going to scale to accommodate the drinking needs of 25 people, so I would go with something else and save the Cachaca for Caipirinhas. Probably a better choice anyway, as at least personally, I don't find that the stuff mixes too well with much of anything aside from lime and sugar. That said, I have not tried watermelon and it does seem like it might work.
The problem with watermelon, in my experience, is that it has a subtle flavor and can easily get lost if you try to do too much with it. You might want to try a test batch or two -- perhaps boil down the watermelon juice to make a watermelon simple syrup and use that rather than straight watermelon juice? I'm not sure what the "cooked" flavor would be like, though. Another watermelon trick is to use a bit of orange or rose flower water, which seems to enhance the watermelon flavor. Be careful there, though; a light hand is key. Too much of those waters and you'll overwhelm things.
Xaga seems to be going in the direction of punch, and I agree there. That's probably the way to go if you want to serve 25 in bulk. Have you read the recent punch feature on this site? There are some interesting recipes and ideas there and I think it would be a great starting point for you.
Aside from the above, how many drinks do you think each of your friends will realistically have, on average? How much work do you want to put in, and how much do you want to spend?
Thanks both of you....exactly the kind of help I need.
I'm also serving beer and wine, so I think most of the men will ignore the girly pink drink and stick w/ beer, so let's say all the girls have 2 (doubtful) and round up to 30 drinks. Since I have other alcohol, I don't really care if I run out after that, plus it's hot summer here and the party starts two hours before dinner, so I don't want to trash them too badly. Further, except for a couple of notable exceptions, these are athletes who aren't huge imbibers.
That said, I'm willing to spend whatever, but I don't want to WASTE expensive liquor either. As for work, I don't mind prep work, but I don't want to be mixing individual cocktails during the party. Thanks !
Theoretically you could use frozen limeade, but fresh squeezed lime juice is SO much better. I think your base of cachaça with watermelon and lime sounds absolutely splendid, you won't need to do too much to it. Xaga is right on with the 1-2-3-4 ratio, except for one thing: The sweet is going to be something much sweeter than juice, typically syrup or liqueur. Watermelon juice isn't exactly powerful in its flavor, so I think I would make the sweet something fairly low-key like good ol' simple syrup (the Grand Marnier has a cognac base, which I think would throw off the balance of things). I love Davis's idea of orange flower water, but he's really not kidding when he says to use small amounts. For the big bowl, add the orange flower water 1/4 teaspoon at a time, tasting after each addition. I've stubbed my toe on orange flower water when making Ramos Fizzes and I had to throw them out because it tasted like perfume. Speaking of which, if you're wondering what to do with extra orange flower water, mix it with more water and give your sheets a gentle mist before you go to bed. It smells lovely.
Try this on for size, and then adjust your quantities once you have it figured out:
1/2 ounce lime juice (half a lime)
1 ounce simple syrup
6 sprigs mint
1 1/2 ounces cachaça
2 ounces watermelon juice
Gently muddle the lime, syrup, and mint together. Add cachaça and watermelon juice, shake gently with crushed ice, pour into a glass, and top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
It's easier to adjust the recipe around while things are small, so if you think flavors need a nudge, go about 1/4 ounce at a time. This should be pretty darn good as-is, though.
Since you have one bottle of cachaça, this will serve closer to 16 than 25:
1 cup lime juice (get the squeezer that looks like a giant metal garlic press, it makes this SO much easier!)
2 cups simple syrup
1 bottle cachaça
4 cups watermelon juice
Lightly bruise the mint with a mortar and pestle (or just a rolling pin). Mix everything in a punch bowl with ice, and stir until chilled. Either top individual servings with a splash of soda, or gently stir in 2 cups soda to the punch bowl.
You could use Pellegrino instead of regular club soda, but I'm not sure that it would be worth the extra expense (unless you're close to a Trader Joe's, in which case said extra expense is going to be less than fifty cents for one bottle). Either way, chill the sparkling water before opening it. If you open it while it's warm, you're going to lose a lot of the bubbles very quickly. Chilling the water lets the gases stay dissolved in the liquid.
ted, that's a great idea...and you could also freese the cubes and use them for ice, perhaps?
Anyhow, here's what I did, more or less:
Took one huge watermelon, removed the heart for eating purposes and purreed the rest and strained it. Mixed about 5 cups of watermelon juice, 4 cups reconstitued frozen limeade, 3/4 cup fresh lime juice and a bit more sugar. Muddled the mint, added the juice, less than a full bottle of cachaca and a can of club soda at the last minute. They were pretty weak, as I intended, but very nice for drinking (not sipping) in the sun while we lounged.
Thanks everyone for the ideas.
In case anyone happens on this thread and is wondering the simplest way to make a palatable watermelon-type caipirinha, I'm currently imbibing:
-the remains of a regular caipirinha (a couple lime wedge rinds with some sugar, under some ice, topped off with about 4 chunks of muddled watermelon and a little simple syrup, with added cachaca - about 1 shot.
It's along the lines of this:
The watermelon is coming through nicely.