With the exception of maybe around the holidays, I don’t really get cravings for cocktails in the winter and spring. When we’re heading into summer—now that’s another story. There’s something about the frivolous nature of cocktails, and the fact that they’re often made with fresh fruit and vegetables, that makes them perfect for warm summer evenings. The other day, my daughter mentioned how funny it would be if there was a drink called “Tequila Mockingbird” and of course she then had to research it on the internet. And, of course, there are numerous versions of the “Tequila Mockingbird,” not to mention a drink book by the same name, which I promptly ordered for my good friend Mary the librarian, who loves trying new cocktails as much as I do and has a birthday coming up. One recipe that we found online stood out and I had to try it right away. Don’t let the jalapeno scare you away. Unless you don’t like any kind of spice at all, be adventurous! Make it when you can get your hands around a really good watermelon. I quadrupled the recipe because it’s tedious making one cocktail after another. It’s herbaceous, summery and it has tequila in it—in short, it’s delicious!
By the way, Tequila Mockingbird by Tim Federele, arrived in the mail—it’s a hoot and comes highly recommended.
Tequila Mockingbird Cocktail
1 jalapeño pepper slice
2 ounces Patrón Silver Tequila
1½ ounces Watermelon-Basil Purée (see recipe below)
¾ ounce fresh lime juice
¾ ounce agave syrup (one part agave nectar, one part water)
In a shaker, muddle the jalapeño slice. Add the remaining ingredients and fill with ice. Shake for 10 seconds and double strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice.
2 cups fresh watermelon, chopped
7 basil leaves
Purée both ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Refrigerate until needed.