Watermelon stinger




1.Cut bruised chillies in half, lengthways and remove seeds from 1 chilli. Place chillies and vodka in a screw-top jar; refrigerate 24 hours (or longer if you prefer) to infuse. Discard chillies.
2.In a medium saucepan over low heat, stir together sugar, rind and water until sugar dissolves. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes or until syrup is reduced by half. Cool. Refrigerate until chilled.
3.In 2 batches, blend watermelon then strain into a large jug. Stir in sugar syrup, chilli-infused vodka, soda water and lime juice.
4.Cut a slit in the base of each of the extra chillies and place on the rim of each chilled glass. Half-fill glasses with ice; pour in watermelon mixture. Serve topped with mint leaves.

The chilli-infused vodka is also very good with lemonade and crushed coriander roots. Chilli-infused vodka can be made up to 1 month ahead. Watermelon juice separates on standing so this recipe is best made close to serving. For a quick cocktail, replace the sugar syrup and soda water with 2 cups (500ml) lemonade.


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