This recipe and photo originally appeared in Saveur
Magazine article, July 11, 2012, By Niki Achitoff-Gray. Photo by Maxime Iattoni.
This cocktail is by Chef Jeff Mahn from
Stella Rosa Pizza Bar, in Santa Monica,
California. Mahn says that the drink was named for a 1918 painting by Russian artist Boris Kustodiev that depicts a buxom woman sitting on a
sun-soaked balcony to enjoy her lavish breakfast - which includes a watermelon as curvy and lush as she is.
According to Chef Mahn, " This cocktail sidesteps the normal pitfalls of watermelon-based cocktails,
which tend to veer to the overly sweet. Well-balanced and pleasantly effervescent, the mild astringency of the Aperol tugs back at the melon's sweetness and
reignites the gin, elevating this brightly-hued cocktail to the heights of sophistication."
Mahn calls this cocktail summertime in a glass.
The Merchant's Wife Cocktail - Watermelon Cocktail
Beverage and Cocktails,
Yields: 1 cocktail
Prep time: 5 min
3/4 ounce Simple Syrup (see recipe below)
2 (2- by 1-inch) chunks fresh watermelon (any seeds
removed), plus wedges for garnish
1 ounce good-quality gin
3/4 ounce Aperol*
3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 ounce club soda
* Aperol is an Italian orange liqueur. It has become Italy’s most popular light spirit.
Prepare Simple Syrup.
Muddle the watermelon chunks and prepared simple syrup together in a cocktail shaker.
Add the gin, Aperol, lemon juice, and club soda; fill shaker with ice, and shake vigorously.
Strain over into a wine glass filled with crushed ice and serve garnished with a wedge of watermelon.
Makes 1 serving.
Basic Simple Syrup Recipe:
Thick simple syrup (basic simple syrup) - A ratio of
1 part water to 1 part sugar - This is used as the basis for cold fruit
drinks and cocktails.
In a high-sided saucepan over medium-high heat, bring cold water and sugar to a boil.
Turn the heat to low and stir constantly until the sugar dissolves completely and the mixture is clear, approximately 3 minutes.
Remember - the longer you boil it, the thicker the syrup will be when cooled.
After boiling, let the syrup cool to room temperature, then pour into a tightly sealed, clean glass jar and store in the refrigerator
(Any clean and sealable container can be used). The syrup can be refrigerated for up to 1 month. You can also stir in 1
tablespoon corn syrup to help ensure the syrup stays smooth.