Welcome to my summertime drink Instructable ! The Watermelon Dreamcicle and Watermelon Cream Cooler recipes were specifically created for the FERROUS CHEF: WATERMELON challenge - they are light, refreshing drinks that make full use of watermelon as well as Chervil. The Watermelon Dreamcicle is a frozen cocktail which challenges my limited bar-tending skills to make a layered drink, whereas the Watermelon Cream Cooler is its non alcoholic, kid friendly cousin.
Both drinks are great as desserts after a beach-side barbecue, but could be enjoyed alone as light refreshment.
There is a considerable amount of prep-time required for both drinks, but it is well worth it in the end.
Ready to go ? Alright !
Midori (or another melon liqueur)
16 oz Light Cream
An Orange (or any citrus)
Shot Glasses (for measuring)
8oz Cocktail Glasses
*In this Instructable, you will be mincing chervil. Make sure the knife used is sharp, and easily controlled. I own a small pairing knife that I believe to be the sharpest thing on the planet. Needless to say, I use it slowly and carefully. I suggest the same thing to you.
**This Instructable also contains an alcoholic liqueur (Midori) - If you do not drink, or if you are too young to drink, just use the parts of the Instructable relating to the Cooler. If you do drink, don't drink and drive. The last thing you want is to be featured in my Gallery of Fail. - or in the hospital.. or prison. In other words "Don't do it !".
Step 1: Prepare Your Melon ( Dreamsicle & Cooler)
Firstly, a note - From this point forward, I will add which drink recipe each step applies to in the title. In this case, this step applies to both the Dreamsicle and the Cooler.
Using a sharp knife, Split your melon, into half, then in quarters, then remove the edible part. Try to keep the pieces as large as will fit into your blender,because each cut on the cutting board results in lost juice. Once you get it into the blender, liquefy it. Pour most of the melon into a shallow tray that can be frozen, and put the remainder into the fridge.
We will be blending the watermelon again once frozen, and keeping the juice reserve will allow you to add some of that to the blender instead of diluting it with water. Pop it into the freezer, and check it every couple of hours. I periodically stir the melon as it freezes, to keep it slushy.
Step 2: Chervil Infused Cream (Dreamsicle and Cooler)
Take about two cups of loosely packed fresh Chervil and mince it - stems and all. Take time to make sure that it is finely minced, and don't rush. Blood is not a part of the recipe, and so you should do your best to keep it inside you where it belongs.
Once the Chervil is minced, mix it into about 16oz of cream, and put that into the freezer as well. In the case of the cream, you want it COLD, not FROZEN, so periodically check to make sure it isn't becoming Chervil ice cream. If it is, move it to the fridge.
*The infusion process happens over the hours in the freezer and/or fridge. The oils from the Chervil - especially the stems - seep into the cream over time. Faster infusion can happen if the fruits/vegetables are steeped first, HOWEVER Chervil doesn't do well when cooked. - It loses what little flavor it has - So, we need to do this slowly and naturally.
**Also note that I do not strain out any of the Chervil used. Its minced finely enough to drink. I also learned that removing any Chervil negatively impacts the flavor after experimenting a bit with the cream. The watermelon isn't strained either.
Step 3: Sugar Rimming Your Cocktail Glass (Dreamcicle)
Adding sugar to a glass rim is super easy to do, and it adds a nice touch to any fruity drink.
Firstly, put some granulated sugar into a bowl. If you are wondering why mine is golden brown instead of white, its because we use raw sugar. Raw Sugar still contains molasses, whereas white sugar has all of the molasses removed. I find raw sugar sweeter, so I'm inclined to use less of it.
Next, take your citrus, (orange, lemon, lime, whatever) and quarter it - be careful to not cut yourself, and take one of the wedges and put a cut straight through the middle.
Attach the wedge to the end of your glass and spin it around a couple of times, then place your glass rim-down in the bowl of sugar. Spin the glass a few times and its done !
Easy and decorative !
Step 4: Add Midori and Layer Infused Cream Over It (Dreamcicle)
Pour 2oz of Midori into your double shot glass, and CAREFULLY pour it into the bottom of an 8oz cocktail glass. You want it neatly centered, and not running all the way down the side. Next, get 1oz of infused cream and lay it on top of the Midori SLOWLY dribbling it off the teaspoon. If you mess up - dont worry, it will still be tasty, but not quite the same experience.
*The key here is patience - And the liquid's specific gravity will take care of the rest. The reason this works is the Midori is considerably more dense than the cream, so the cream can 'float' on top of it - however, that difference in specific gravity is not like oil and water - they will mix if shaken. .
Step 5: Add Watermelon Slush (Dreamcicle)
Get your watermelon slush from the freezer. -If your watermelon has completely frozen, toss it back into the blender with some of the refrigerated juice to make it into slush.
Carefully spoon in dollops of Watermelon slush to fill the glass (5 oz) - The slush will mix somewhat with the cream, but not enough to worry about.
*I suspect this is where my bar-tending skills limit kicks in. It might be possible to keep the layer of cream and ice totally separate, I'm just not skilled enough to do it. :D
Garnish with Chervil, add a straw and enjoy !
Step 6: Combine Watermelon Slush and Chervil Infused Cream in a Blender (Cooler)
Add two cups of slush, one cup of infused cream and blend on high for maybe 30 seconds. Pour mix into tumbler, garnish with a sprig of Chervil, add a straw and enjoy !
Step 7: Flavor Profiles & Final Thoughts.
This layered drink is visually interesting, and stunningly smooth. First out of the gate is the Midori, which is powerfully sweet. As it moves into the infused cream, the sweetness mellows out, and the aftertaste of the chervil cuts it even further. Once one moves into mostly cream, the flavor becomes very mellow, and the Chervil leaves *almost* a bitter aftertaste -
Which works !
Once one moves into the fresh melon slush, the melon seems even 'fresher' - its hard to describe but I'd say the slight licorice flavor the Chervil provides cancels out the sweetness of the Midori as well as the alcohol 'bite' leaving one to enjoy the watermelon as it is. That makes this the kind of drink that can "sneak up on you" as the alcohol content is almost entirely disguised. Tread lightly !
The cooler is watermelon cream through and through. The Chervil leaves behind an interesting aftertaste that contrasts with the melon cream but not so much as to compete with it. I could easily drink a few of these on a hot summer day.
FINAL THOUGHTS :
I am pleasantly surprised by the result of this experiment, as it was entirely driven by The Ferrous Chef Challenge, and nothing I would have ever thought to make without being prompted. I feel both drinks are visually appealing, tasty, and easy to make - the only downfall is the prep time needed, so plan ahead !