Food + Wine

Father’s Day Watermelon Bloody Mary’s

I’m not sure why Father’s Day says ‘drink a Bloody Mary’ to me…it just does.  Maybe it’s because my own father used to make his own mix for parties when I was young… who knows.  But they’re a perfect drink to serve at a day party, Father’s Day or not. I usually set out a ‘make your own bloody’ bar for the family so everyone can make theirs however spicy or pickley they want, but today I decided on something different. 
I had a giant watermelon on my kitchen table staring at me for the longest time and after I cut into it, I realized my crew could never eat enough to keep it from going bad in time so…I came up with another way to use it up!  
I decided to make Watermelon Bloody Mary’s! These drinks are fabulous. They’re a little sweet and a little savory – absolutely perfect. You taste the watermelon, you taste the tomato, you taste the onion and the basil… It’s a celebration of summer in a glass. (Obviously, these drinks would be even better if you wait til the prime watermelon season…I just happened to get my hands on an early summer melon!)
And here’s how you make them…
(Makes…a lot 😉

The day before you want to serve these (or a few hours before if you’re short on time) combine the following in a large bowl:
•8 cups/ 2 quarts, heaping, of fresh watermelon chunks  
•the contents of 1 (28 oz) can of plain Roma tomatoes 
•1/2 a white or yellow onion, sliced or chopped 
•3 TB sugar 
•3 tsp kosher salt
•lots of freshly cracked black pepper 

Toss well to combine, cover, and refrigerate for 3 hours- overnight. 

When you remove it from the fridge, you will have a ton of liquid in the bowl…

In batches, begin to purée everything in a blender, along with a large handful of fresh basil leaves with every blender batch. 

Taste to check seasoning.  More salt?  More pepper?  Make it your own!

Pour into a pitcher and either mix with vodka or have some on the bar for your guests to add themselves. 

Set out a garnish for each glass of a toothpick/ skewer of a fresh grape/cherry tomato, watermelon chunk and basil leaf if desired
And set out a small plate with lime salt to rim each glass if desired. 
(Just kosher salt and lime zest)
And set out some hot sauce and lime wedges for your guests to spice it up if they want! 
Serve over ice on a warm summer day, with friends and family.
(inspired by a version of this salad HERE.)
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