It’s ridiculously hot and swampy feeling here in Iowa and all I want is to sip cocktails while floating in the pool. The reality is that I’m working not floating and I would fry up like the little vampire I am if I spent all day poolside. I can still enjoy a nice cocktail though and this Habanero Watermelon Cooler is the perfect summer drink! Freshly juiced watermelon, mint, and lime juice make for a refreshing summer mix of flavors while the heat of the habanero vodka creeps in at the end. A good kind of creep. ; ) The addition of a habanero mango salt rim was a last minute decision that I am so glad I made! No matter where you’re at this summer, this is one cocktail you should make time for to enjoy!
Habanero Infused Vodka:
1 habanero pepper, cut in half
1 cup of your favorite vodka
Add pepper halves and vodka to a canning jar, seal, shake, and place in a cool dark place for 8 to 24 hours. Taste test a sip of it after 8 hours because it can get spicy REAL quick depending on the potency of your pepper. If you like extra hot, let it sit for 24 to 48 hours. Longer it sits, the hotter it gets.
(makes 1 cocktail)
Habanero Watermelon Cooler:
1 tsp honey
Juice from half a lime
10-12 fresh mint leaves (a few extra for garnish)
1 1/2oz habanero infused vodka
1 cup watermelon chunks, juiced
Spicy Salt Rim:
1 tsp coarsely ground salt
1 tsp Salt Lake Spice Co’s Habanero Mango Rub
1/2 tsp honey
Mix salt and spice rub in a shallow dish. Run the rim of the glass through the honey and then press in the salt and spice mixture to completely coat.
Add honey, lime juice, and mint leaves to the glass and use a muddler or end of a wooden spoon to muddle the mint leaves. Add habanero vodka and stir until honey dissolves. Add a handful of ice, the freshly juiced watermelon, and top it off with club soda. Garnish and serve!