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It’s the same every year here in the Midwest. Cool, rainy bone-chilling spring days and just when we think they’ll never end ~ it’s as though someone flips a switch and suddenly, it’s hot. Flip flop wearing, turn on the air conditioning NOW ~ hot. The days I spent curled under a blanket with a good book are forgotten.
The temperature change triggers something in my husband’s brain too that says all meals should be grilled. It’s a man vs. fire thing that I can’t argue with. But he gets to show off his mad grilling skills while I contribute an equally good, celebratory cocktail because after all, we not only survived spring, but a brutal winter, too.
This Watermelon Sparkling Wine Cocktail is fruit driven starting with fresh homemade watermelon juice (easy instructions below) and finished with Chandelier Sparkling Wine, a delicious, lightly bubbly wine that’s worth toasting.
Whenever we entertain I try to come up with a fun cocktail for the party ~ a signature drink that makes the get-together a little more festive. Sometimes it’s a batch of sangria or another cocktail, but don’t get me wrong ~ Chandelier Sparkling Wine straight up is a great way to go, too.
The thing is though, when you find the ideal cocktail that makes your gathering a little better than the rest ~ well ~ it’s kind of like finding that missing sock. This Watermelon Sparkling Wine Cocktail just may be it.
I didn’t have to search for Chandelier Sparkling Wine ~ it was stocked at my neighborhood grocery store, reasonably priced, light and crisp with fruit notes of its own. This wine is a really good option for any occasion ~ girls night in, date night ~ anytime you want to make the ultimate statement. It’s an easy choice to light up the room and celebrate even the small stuff.
Watermelon juice is really easy to make and starts with picking a good watermelon. My days of rolling the dice and hoping for sweet and juicy are over since I learned a couple of foolproof tricks for how to choose the best watermelon.
First, look for the spot. A good watermelon is one that’s been sun-ripened. Make sure yours has a field spot ~ a pale yellow spot on its rind where it rested on the ground.
Weight. It should feel heavy for its size. Enough said.
Give it a couple of knocks. Knock gently on it a couple of times, listening for a hollow sound (ignore stares you may get from other shoppers ~ remember you’re going home with the tasty watermelon!).
Making fresh watermelon juice is as easy as pressing a button on your blender. Just add diced watermelon (rind removed), to a blender and process until it’s smooth.
Then strain the watermelon juice through a fine sieve, lightly pressing with a spoon to get rid of any seeds or pulp.
Rosemary Honey Syrup:
Straight honey in hot tea is delicious and soothes the throat, but it doesn’t blend well in a cold cocktail, so we’re making the honey into a syrup of equal parts honey and water. If this sounds like ‘simple syrup’ you’ve made before, you’re spot on. We’re making a simple syrup, but swapping out sugar for honey.
I infused fresh rosemary into the honey syrup for more summer-fresh flavor but if you’re not a fan of rosemary, you can certainly leave it out. The syrup can be made a day ahead of time and stored in a jar.
To make rosemary honey syrup, blend water and honey in a small saucepan over medium low heat (I used ¼ cup of each). Add one small sprig of rosemary and stir gently until the honey is dissolved then cool it completely. This is what’s known as the quick method of infusing. You get plenty of flavor without all the time.
Watermelon Sparkling Wine Cocktail Ingredients (makes 2):
- 8 ounces watermelon juice (or more to taste)
- 3 ounces vodka (2 shots)
- 2 tablespoons rosemary honey syrup
- Chandelier Sparkling Wine, chilled
I used a shaker but if you don’t have one, blend the juice, vodka and honey syrup in a glass and top with chilled Chandelier Sparkling Wine.
Using a shaker, add a handful of ice to the shaker then pour in the watermelon juice, vodka and rosemary honey syrup.
Give it a good shake, strain it into a glass and finish off with Chandelier Sparkling Wine and garnish with either a sprig of rosemary or a small wedge of watermelon. Voila! ~ it’s Watermelon Sparkling Wine Cocktail time.
The recipe above makes two cocktails. To make a batch, multiply for the number of servings, add to a large pitcher and refrigerate. Just before serving, stir then divide between the glasses and top off each glass with chilled Chandelier Sparkling Wine.
Here are a few of my favorite food pairings with this cocktail:
- Blue Cheese Honey Appetizer
- Grilled Shrimp Scampi
- Spring Panzanella Salad
- Grilled Pizza with fresh, seasonal vegetables
If you make this Watermelon Sparkling Wine Cocktail, leave me a comment~ I’d love to hear from you because silence isn’t always golden ~ especially if there’s a toddler around ~ then silence can be suspicious.
Check out Chandelier Sparkling Wine Facebook and Instagram pages and feel free to LIKE and FOLLOW them along too. Don’t worry, you won’t be tested on what you learned here ~ just pretty pics and good info.
Watermelon Sparkling Wine Cocktail
- 8 ounces watermelon juice or more to taste
- 3 ounces vodka 2 shots
- 2 tablespoons rosemary honey syrup
- Chandelier Sparkling Wine chilled
- Add a handful of ice to a shaker then pour in the watermelon juice, vodka and rosemary honey syrup.
- Shake then strain into a glass and finish off with Chandelier Sparkling Wine. Garnish with either a small wedge of watermelon or rosemary sprig.
- NOTE: if you don’t have a shaker, blend the juice, vodka and honey syrup in a glass and top with chilled Chandelier Sparkling Wine.
- To make a batch of this cocktail, multiply for the number of servings, add to a large pitcher and refrigerate. When you’re ready to serve, give it a stir then divide between the glasses and top off each glass with chilled Chandelier Sparkling Wine.