icy & sparkling watermelon granita & gin cocktailicy & sparkling watermelon granita & gin cocktailicy & sparkling watermelon granita & gin cocktailicy & sparkling watermelon granita & gin cocktailicy & sparkling watermelon granita & gin cocktailicy & sparkling watermelon granita & gin cocktailicy & sparkling watermelon granita & gin cocktail

… with ginger ale too of coursefor the bubbles and to lighten it up somewhat “decently”. And if you make the granita now before noon, it’ll be ready for cocktail hour tonight !

So 2 weekends ago, my friends from Montreal dropped in for a short trip to Paris, via CANNES, followed by a trip to CRETE afterwards. A lovely summer vacation plan indeed ! Good for them and these good childhood friends that they are, deserve a worthwhile cocktails & nibbles invitation. 

Now Niki (a.k.a. NZ) and especially Dimitri/Jimmy (a.k.a. MITSO) are pretty knowledgeable when it comes to cocktails (as raved Toto from Montreal) so I had to make something they’d appreciate yet different from what they were accustomed to. Jim adores Mykonos-style Watermelon Vodka Moscow Mules and is known to prepare them when he has guests over (and also when he’s the guest in somebody else’s home)but for me, vodka is not a summery enough ingredient for a cocktail but GIN can be, both aromatic as well as strong. 

The WATERMELON is the star here, which I slice, de-seed, pureé, then strain and combine the filtered juice with fresh lime juice and agave nectar and a pinch of salt, then I freeze it into an icy, slushy GRANITA texture. 

I hadn’t completely tested it out nor fully figured out the ratios or proportions but as I was preparing it and chatting away, I made a mistake and had already filled up the jug with half watermelon granita and half gin, with no more room left for the ginger ale, so I just filled up the glasses 2/3 full with that alcohol and juice mix and then added 1/3 ginger ale on top. A few basil and mint leaves and ice cubes and they were ready to serve. 

To recap, it’s 1/3 gin + 1/3 watermelon granita mix (including the ice cubes) + 1/3 ginger ale. The balance was simply perfect.

Anyways, give it a try and if I may suggest, make extra watermelon granita (I daresay double it) and keep it in the freezer. The kids will probably devour it before the adults have a second chance to make a second cocktail, but who knows, maybe they’ll find it in their hearts to leave you just enough.

Did I forget to mention the LARGE WATERMELON GRANITA ICE CUBES ? They keep it icy cold and add flavor as they melt without watering the cocktail down ! Yeah, I can be clever.

Like Kristina, their youngest daughter once sang (and before I forget, a quick hello, kiss and hug to Marina, the oldest daughter)as she was strumming on a ukelele :  

“and that’s the way the story gooooooes !” . . . :)

icy & sparkling watermelon granita & gin cocktail


6 cocktails of 250 ml each


watermelon granita :

  • 600 ml (2 ½ cups) strained watermelon juice (from about half of a small 2,25 kg whole watermelon)
  • 100 ml (5 tbsp) agave nectar (syrup)
  • 75 ml (5 tbsp) fresh lime juice (from 3 limes)
  • 0,5 gram (1/tsp) fine sea salt

watermelon granita ice cubes (12 large or 24 regular) :

  • 300 grams (1 ¼ cups) watermelon granita liquid mixture

cocktail mix (for 6 cocktails) :

  • 450 grams (2 cups) watermelon granita (frozen and crushed)
  • 500 ml (2 cups + 1 tbsp + 1 tsp) gin (cold)
  • 500 ml (2 cups + 1 tbsp + 1 tsp) ginger ale (cold)

garnish (for 6 cocktails) :

  • 300 grams (12 large x 25 grams each or 24 small x 12,5 grams each) watermelon granita ice cubes
  • 60 grams (6 slices) fresh lime
  • 2 grams (12-15 small whole fresh) basil leaves
  • 2 grams (12-15 small whole fresh) mint leaves


watermelon granita & ice cubes :

  • slice up the watermelon, remove the seeds if necessary, transfer to a food processor and purée until smooth, then strain and press to remove all solids, add the lime juice, agave nectar and sea salt to the strained juice and mix (adjust to your taste according to the sweetness & ripeness of your watermelon)
  • reserve 300 grams (or 1 ¼ cups) to make 12 large or 24 smaller ice cubes in 2 ice trays and transfer the remaining liquid of 450 grams (or 1 ¾ cups + 2 tbsp) to a large and flat freezer bag and place everything in the freezer for at least 6 hours until solid

cocktail assembly :

  • remove the freezer bag with the watermelon granita mixture and let it come to room temperature for 15-30 minutes and crush while still inside the freezer bag until finer and smoother
  • combine the icy watermelon granita mixture with the cold gin, fill each glass/tumber up to 2/3 full, add the ginger ale (remaining 1/3), then add the garnish of 2 larger or 4 smaller watermelon granita ice cubes, 1 lime slice and 2-3 small leaves each of fresh basil and mint and don’t forget the straw … serve & sip.