Watermelon and Ginger Cocktail

I have recently realised it has been a very long time since I wrote about cocktails. It doesn’t mean however I haven’t been enjoying drinks and constantly looking for new recipes, which would stand out from the traditional margaritas, mojitos and other popular cocktails. Most recipes call for the ingredients available all year round, but I find it very interesting to profit from the seasonal fruits, stretching the seasonal eating idea to seasonal drinking. Watermelon is now in high season, I eat tons of this refreshing and light fruit, I have never see it in a juice version, so when I saw the Watermelon and Ginger Cocktail on the Shizuoka Gourmet blog, I knew I had to try it.

This cocktail was created by Wasaru Matsumoto, the owner and bartender at Botanical (comfort bar) in Shizuoka City. I have slightly modified it, keeping the most important, e.i. ginger, watermelon and gin mixture. The important thing I omitted was the salt on the glass rim (margarita style). At first, I admit, I have forgotten,  but then, the cocktail was so fantastic without it, I thought I would do this another time. I don’t know how to describe the taste… The delicate and sweet watermelon is seriously boosted by the ginger juice, which should be used sparingly, so that it doesn’t overwhelm the combination.

If you are lucky to visit Shizuoka or if you live there, go to Shizuoka Gourmet blog to find the Botanical address and opening hours. If, however, you live far from Japan and love watermelon and ginger, try this recipe out (with or without salted rim). Very refreshing, seasonal and addictive!

Preparation: 10 minutes

Ingredients (serves one):

125 ml (1/2 cup) strained juice from mixed watermelon pulp

50 ml gin

1 1/2 teaspoon ginger juice (I grated about 2 cm fresh ginger and squeezed the pulp) /the original recipe calls for 1 fresh leaf ginger/



(I skipped this step). Moist the big glass rim and dip it in salt.

Place the ice in the glass.

Put all the ingredients in a shaker (apart from the ice) and shake well.

Pour over the ice and enjoy!

12 Replies to “Watermelon and Ginger Cocktail”

  1. Inspiring. The gin/juice ratio looks great, perhaps even up the gin a bit:) On the other hand the watermelon juice is light/watery so the gin taste would be quite evident. Too much gin may not work. I suppose you tested different combinations, much be a tough job:) What about vodka or light rum instead of gin?

    1. Thank you, Mr. Three-Cookies! Yes, the cocktail was quite strong, but it was difficult to say if it was ginger or gin which made the taste stronger (no “pure alcohol taste though). Yes, I think gin with only watermelon would create a cocktail with too much of alcohol taste. Yes, I tested two combinations actually (how did you know? 😉 ) First I put 1 1/2 tablespoon ginger juice and it was too much. I still haven’t tested with vodka or rhum, but will come do this certainly… Thank you for the idea and let me know if you test it yourself!

  2. I love watermelon juice…Never thought of mixing it with ginger juice…I remember once at a friend’s house, she had a large watermelon filled with vodka. A small hole in the watermelon shell was the opening for the vodka to infuse the watermelon (overnight, I think!) and vodka lovers there thought it was brilliant!

    Love the beautiful picture in your post…

    1. Thank you so much Shilpa. I am glad you like my photo, I wanted to show the maximum of the colour! I would have never thought of mixing watermelon with such a strong juice. However it works great! Miracles of a Japanese bartender 😉 I have laready heard of this watermelon hole and vodka method, but never tried it.

  3. Hi Sissi! I am not very strong with alcohol (I can get drunk with few sips – my husband call me I’m a cheap date to go drinking), so I honestly don’t know how this will taste like. But even though I don’t drink much, I still like fruity flavor most. Almost like juice. I know… I’m still like a child. Even soju, I mix with strawberries, yogurt, grapefruits… all sweets or sour taste. I love watermelon juice so I am sure I will love this taste!

    1. Nami, you made me laugh with “cheap date to go drinking” 😉 I think I might be quite expensive… especially if I am to choose the wine bottle 😉
      If you want, you can omit the gin here and simply mix watermelon with ginger juice and add some ice. In fact, the gin taste is not overwhelming. For me the biggest discovery was rather the ginger and watermelon combination. I would have never had this idea on my own!

  4. This sounds good, Sissi, probably apart from the ginger bit, because (I don’t know why) I simply cannot imagine drinking/eating something sweet with ginger. I love ginger but I only use it to cook savoury dishes. In a few years this might change though, because there are quite a lot of things that I didn’t enjoy eating/drinking in the past and now I cannot get enough of them ;)!

    1. Thank you CG. There are many people who cannot stand ginger, so I fully understand. Personally, I hate candied ginger. I have also noticed my taste changes with age. I also now like things I have always hated…

  5. Looks great, perfect for summer. I get why salt is used and popular, but I never miss it when it’s not there.

    1. Thank you. It was very original, but only for ginger fans. I must try it with salt if I don’t forget next time, just to see if I missed a lot.

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