We've already established that it's the summer of the slushie, but another trend is cropping up: watermelon drinks. There's something inherently cooling and refreshing about the fruit's juicy flesh, particularly when it's served in a glass. We've rounded up the most quenching watermelon around town: slushy juices, alcoholic snow cones, and even an orange juice replacement for your breakfast cocktail. Even better: no seeds. Check it all out, straight ahead.
Watermelon margarita ($10)
Talde Sip Talde’s watermelon margarita at the bar while you wait for a table at this no-reservations joint. Beverage director John Bush adds fresh watermelon juice to a basic margarita — Sauza Gold tequila, triple sec, lemon, and lime. The cocktail is served on the rocks with a watermelon-wedge garnish that's set off by black-and-white salt, a presentation both delicious and dramatic.
Watermelon juice ($3.50)
Num Pang Count the Cambodian sandwich shop's slushy melon blend-up among the best thirst-quenchers in the city. Frothy, with enough texture to give it a little chew, it’s an ideal slurp on a sweltering day.
Watermelon-basil caipirinha ($12)
Café Kristall An Austrian restaurant serving Brazil’s national cocktail? Somehow it works. The newly renovated Café Kristall offers its take on the famous cachaca-sugar-lime quaff, adorned here with basil leaves and watermelon ice cubes. It's almost as pretty as the Swarovski crystal chandeliers overhead.
Watermelon/chia agua fresca ($4.50)
Empellón Taqueria Nonalocholic aguas frescas are a brunch drink at Alex Stupak's taqueria. Flavors rotate seasonally, and lucky for us, the watermelon/chia version just came onto the menu. Sip this on a sunny Sunday morning with the windows open to West Fourth Street, and relish summer.
Watermelon mimosa ($12)
Fatty ‘Cue In Fatty ‘Cue's brunch-only mimosa, watermelon is subbed for orange juice, lending the flute a pretty pink color and the drink an overall fresh feel. Bubbly, refreshing, and slightly sweet, it’s a nice complement to the restaurant’s funky, hangover-vanquishing flavors.
Thai basil and watermelon tequila snow cone ($12)
Zengo The booze slushie comes in tamarind, strawberry, hibiscus, and shiso-yuzu flavors at Zengo and sister bar La Biblioteca, but nothing is more cooling than the Thai basil and watermelon option. This adults-only treat is made with shaved ice topped with Thai basil simple syrup and fresh watermelon puree, plus Agavales Blanco tequila.
Fresh watermelon juice ($4)
Café Gitane Nothing goes better with an alfresco avocado toast or smoked chicken salad than a glass watermelon juice, served straight-up. Cooling, soothing, and refreshing, it’s the perfect antidote to a hot afternoon.
Watermelon Blitz ($14)
Craft It's no surprise to see the quintessential summer fruit at Tom Colicchio's seasonal standby. Vodka is the hooch of choice here, while St. Germain adds floral notes and lemon juice punches up the fruity flavor.
Watermelon juice ($7)
Melvin’s Juice Box At the reggae-blasting café-radio station adjacent to Miss Lily’s, “celebrity juicer” Melvin Major Jr. offers a straightforward finely pulverised organic watermelon sipper. Ask him to throw in a few chunks of ice if you like your juice extra-cold.
Watermelon soju cocktail ($12)
Miss Lily’s For something a little stronger than Melvin’s watermelon juice, head next door to Miss Lily’s for the soju-spiked version. Bartenders muddle fresh mint, then shake the cocktail for a mojito-like result that's an effective foil to spicy jerk chicken and pepper shrimp.
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