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Smitten

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It’s what you’ll be after drinking this cocktail! It’s like fire and ice in a glass. But use the hot sauce with a slight hand; it should enhance and not overpower. Shake in a few sprigs of cilantro for an herbal note. For a video on how to make the Smitten, watch this episode on www.LiquidKitchen.tv.

Makes 1 cocktail.

1/3 cup fresh ripe watermelon (large 1” cubes)
2 ounces silver tequila
3/4 ounce agave nectar
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
2 dashes Tabasco or hot sauce

Garnish: half rim DIY Citrus Salt (recipe follows)

Muddle watermelon in a mixing glass, being sure to press the melon well to release the juices. Measure in tequila, agave and lime juice. Shake in a dash of hot sauce – be careful not to overdo it. Fill with ice. Cap and shake vigorously. Strain into a Martini glass with a partial DIY Citrus Salt rim or serve unstrained over ice in a tall glass.

DIY Citrus Salt
I like to make this with coarse Fleur de Sel, but you can make the entire recipe with kosher salt, too. 

Makes about 2 cups.

zest of 2 lemons
zest of 1 large orange
1 1/2 cups kosher salt or Fleur De Sel
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 cup sugar

With a potato peeler, peel the lemon and orange removing the colored part of the skin but not the white pith. Cut peel in very fine strips, then mince (Reserve fruit for another use). In a large, shallow, glass baking pan, mix citrus zest and salt together and leave uncovered in a warm dry place in the kitchen. Stir a couple of times a day. Let sit at room temperature until the citrus peels are thoroughly dried—this should take about 3 to 5 days.

Once zest is dried in the salt process in a high powered blender or food processor until the citrus is just incorporated. Add the remaining salt and sugar and process again – pulsing a few times. Store in a dry, tightly covered container at room temperature.