Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Watermelon Coolers

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It's not summer unless you're enjoying a slice of watermelon! Watermelon is so refreshing, I can't imagine a hot summer day without it. But since I tend to have so much watermelon leftover (we can only eat so much), I like using it in drink recipes. These watermelon coolers combine fresh seedless watermelon, lemon sorbet, lemon zest, ginger ale and simple syrup with a watermelon wedge garnish. Now that's a refreshing way to beat the heat!...

I prepared this drink to kick off the recent Dirty Dancing movie party I hosted with family and friends this past weekend. We had a hot weekend here in Chicago so I wanted to give my guests a chance to cool off once they arrived. It was easy to come up with a drink, given the season, but I couldn't just hand everyone just any cold beverage. Since we were watching the Dirty Dancing movie, it was important to incorporate watermelon into my menu because it was one of the food items found in the movie...

Baby, the female main character, develops a crush on the resort's dance instructor Johnny Castle, leader of the working-class entertainment staff. When she, while carrying a watermelon, is invited to one of their secret after-hours parties, she observes the "dirty dancing" for the first time.
This was a great drink as is, but if you want a little more pep, feel free to add some tequila or vodka! It was nice to be able to prep this drink in advance and then serve it as guests arrived...


Watermelon Coolers
recipe adapted from Paula Deen

1 1/2 pounds (4 cups) sliced seedless watermelon, rind removed
1 cup lemon sorbet
1 lemon, zested
1 1/2 cups cold ginger ale
1/2 cup simple syrup

Watermelon wedges for garnish

In a blender, combine the  watermelon, sorbet, and lemon zest, blending until very smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cold ginger ale and simple syrup; cover and refrigerate until very cold. Serve over ice and garnish with watermelon wedges.


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