Oh hi, its the end of summer. What? What. When did that happen? It makes me want to drink…and not in the beginningofsummer kind of a way.
I created this drink specifically with the end of summer in mind. I think we all could go for a cold one by the end of summer: its hot, its sad, and this drink is just delicious.
It is really time to buckle down and get my act together. How about you? Do you need to too? There are a ton of things that could be happening to all of us this time of year. A new semester is starting. (New school supplies! Yayy!) Moves typically happen mid-late summer. A lot of companies hire people this time of year. Sooo, yeah, I would say we all deserve a drink. Right. Now.
And I know, there are still a few days until Labor Day, which falls a little late this year. Its like an extra bonus week of summer! Oh. Em. Gee.
This recipe again uses Tito’s Vodka, which is my go-to for any drinks that I want to paleofy. I wrote a little bit more about it here in my Cocoberry Vodka Pops, but essentially, Tito’s is one of the few vodka’s that doesn’t give me any problems. Also, I love the people over there at Tito’s: they’re very kindhearted and genuine. (For full disclosure and transparency, I would to state that I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post; all opinions and statements are my own.)
Watermelon is in stores and farmer’s markets everywhere right now, which is perfect because this drink calls for some grilled watermelon. Yup. Grilled. Have you ever had grilled fruit before? No? Well, you’re in for a treat.
Grilled watermelon, and any fruit in general, takes on a little sultry, savory flavor from the grill. If you have ever had grilled veggies, its very similar, but obviously with the sweetness of fruit. I chose to muddle the grilled watermelon with some strawberries to flavor both the mixer and vodka evenly. Although, if you really wanted to, you could skip the muddling step and just use the grilled watermelon as a stunning garnish. I won’t judge.
Oh, and did I mention that the mixer is kombucha? Vodka and probiotics and grilled fruit? Win-win-win. Win.
Some cook’s notes:
- The trick to getting good grilled watermelon is to slice them precisely. I like ½ inch thick slices because it allows the fruit to take on a grilled flavor, but also doesn’t let them to become too limp, which is definitely a concern since watermelon has so much water content.
- Watch the watermelon closely when you’re grilling them; they become overcooked very quickly.
- I grilled my watermelon using a well-seasoned cast iron skillet on my stovetop. A normal grill will work too, however, the cooking times will likely need to be adjusted. I can’t tell you how, exactly, because at the moment I don’t have a grill. (What? I know. Soon, friends, soon. Just in time for the end of the grilling season, I’m sure.)
- I used strawberry flavored kombucha, which I made myself, but I feel like any fruity kombucha flavor could be substituted. (You can see my original kombucha post here and my troubleshooting post here.)
- This isn't my first Kombucha drink. I collaborated with Dani from Care to Pair back in January with this Kombucha Gin Rickey here. (P.S. Go check out Dani's blog- she is super talented in the paring department!)
- I use the honey simple syrup recipe from Against All Grain for almost all my paleo cocktails. You can find it here.
Spiked Grilled Watermelon and Strawberry Kombucha
- 10 oz. strawberry flavored kombucha
- ¼ cup strawberries, diced
- 8 oz. seedless watermelon
- 4 tbsp. simple honey syrup
- 3 oz. Tito’s vodka
- Slice watermelon into ½ inch thick pieces. Each piece should be triangular, with the rind still on, like a slice of thick-crust pizza. Slices should be about 5 inches across at their widest point. Set aside.
- Heat well-seasoned cast-iron grill skillet on high heat or prepare grill. Place watermelon slices on your cooking surface. Grill for about 5-6 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time so each side has some delicious grill marks. If using a grill, see note above.
- Once done grilling, remove watermelon from heat immediately and set aside. Let rest for about 5 minutes.
- Once cooled, slice grilled watermelon into small chunks, reserving 2 slices for garnish.
- Place diced grilled watermelon and strawberries in a bowl, and using a spoon or an ice cream scoop, muddle fruit. Reserve some strawberries for garnish, if desired.
- In a large shaker, add kombucha, muddled fruit, honey syrup, and vodka.
- Shake VERY CAREFULLY to incorporate. Kombucha is prone to fizzing over if shaken too hard. (I suppose you could just stir this too to incorporate.)
- Fill two glasses with ice. Pour drink over ice and garnish with fruit. Enjoy immediately!