Bars around Houston are paying homage to the quintessential summer fruit with 10 colorful concoctions ideal for sipping your way through the season.
Watermelon Breeze at Mockingbird Bistro
This easy seasonal sipper features fresh-muddled watermelon combined with rum, cognac, fresh lime juice, agave nectar and Grande Liqueur.
1985 Welch St.; 713-533-0200
Sunny Argument at Anvil Bar and Refuge
Flavored with the juicy fruit and loaded with rum (it mixes a trio of original dark, honey and Jamaican varieties), the cold antidote to the Houston heat gets an extra punch from pickled watermelon rind, lemon, Angostura bitters and soda.
1424 Westheimer Rd.; 713-523-1622
What Angels Drink at Backstreet Cafe
The effervescent drink boasts housemade watermelon ice cubes as its base, plus orange bitters, Cointreau and sparkling wine. Garnished with a lime, the must-try cocktail is named in honor of a quote from Mark Twain's Pudd’nhead Wilson that reads, “It is chief of this world's luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat."
1103 S. Shepherd Dr.; 713-521-2239
Watermelon Fresca at La Grange
Photo by Marcy de Luna
In a Mexican spin, this low-key Montrose bar uses a refreshing mix of tequila blanco and Aperol, then garnishes the glass with fresh watermelon balls.
2517 Ralph St.; 832-962-4745
Basil Watermelon Cooler at Etoile Cuisine et Bar
The two quintessential summer ingredients come together in this herbaceous tipple made with fresh-squeezed watermelon juice, basil, gin, housemade lemonade and club soda.
1101-11 Uptown Park Blvd.; 832-668-5808
Sandia de Oaxaca at Hugo’s
Mark your calendars for this riff on a mezcal-tini calling for watermelon juice infused with hoja santa leaf (an aromatic herb with a root beer–like flavor) and mixed with lime, mezcal and ginger syrup. It hits the menu on August 1.
1600 Westheimer Rd.; 713-524-7744
Watermelon Cooler at Julep
The invigorating cocktail at the Washington Avenue bar joins 10-year single malt scotch and sparkling verjus (pressed juice of unripened grapes) with watermelon purée.
Pasteque Swizzle and Mr. Big at Wooster's Garden
The picnic fruit makes its way into two cocktails at the laid-back Midtown bar. The herbaceous Pasteque Swizzle is a mix of Cognac, Green Chartreuse, watermelon juice, lime and Angostura bitters. The simple yet flavorful Mr. Big is a potent mix of vodka and absinthe, plus watermelon juice, cucumber and lemon.
Watermelon Rita at Dish Society
This refreshing thirst-quencher (pictured at top) at the local ingredient–driven eatery blends together tequila, orange liqueur and puréed watermelon. It's served on the rocks with a little salt and lime.