June has been an interesting month. I wasn't expecting to be busier than I was in May, but, gosh darn, my butt has been kicked. In addition to all the projects, we also had things to celebrate. Eric's birthday and our anniversary fall on the same week, so we went out to dinner not once, but three times to celebrate (hey, that's how we roll). There were times when I thought, "You know what? Let's just put this whole blog thing on hold for a few weeks." But as soon as a little free time presented itself, I was in the kitchen, my camera not too far out of reach. I just can't help myself.
I've had this shrub in my head for months now. Ever since Tabasco contacted me about being a part of their Tastemaker Program, I knew that one recipe I'd want to develop was a shrub. Seems like a natural fit. One of the three major ingredients in a shrub is vinegar, as is the case with Tabasco's hot sauce. A watermelon shrub immediately came to mind. It wasn't until I tasted the final result, though, that I realized how perfectly it all came together. Yes, there's a subtle kick, but what most stands out is the salt in the Tabasco that allows the sweetness of the watermelon to pop.
Tequila is my go-to spirit (Don't get me wrong. I love bourbon and gin, but agave-based spirits are what I order most at bars). While I'm not one for a watermelon margarita, I felt like the shrub would be more of my scene; zingy, both in the heat from the Green Pepper hot sauce and the vinegar, a little sweet, as well as the green notes from the tequila and green pepper. What I wasn't quite expecting was how addictive it would be. Especially on a hot summer day, these are dangerously easy to suck down. I guess that's the sign of a successful cocktail.
I can't end the post without sharing my delight in the news that the Supreme Court ruled to legalize same-sex marriages in all fifty states. It took me a few days to process everything. Eric and I are personally effected, because now we can go anywhere in the country and our marriage will be recognized by the state. But what really hit me hard was knowing that future generations won't see gay couples as anything other than two people who love each other and, if they choose to do so, get married. That, for me, is a beautiful thing.
"“All men are created equal. No matter how hard they try, they can never erase those words. That is what America is about.” -Harvey Milk
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Tabasco. Over the course of the year, I will be creating recipes featuring the Tabasco Family of Flavors and this is the first of those posts. All opinions expressed on my site are my own.
Watermelon Shrub Spritzer
For the watermelon shrub spritzer
2 oz tequila blanco
1 oz lime juice
1.5 oz watermelon shrub
Watermelon (cut into 1 inch cube), for garnish
Lime zest, for garnish
To prepare the shrub
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce and sugar until sugar has dissolved. Slowly stir in the watermelon puree.
2. Strain mixture through a sieve.
To prepare the cocktail
1. In a cocktail shaker, add the tequila, lime juice, and watermelon shrub, along with three ice cubes. Shake for 10 seconds and strain into a highball glass filled with ice cubes. Top with seltzer water.
2. To prepare the garnish, fold a strip of lime zest in half and skewer onto a toothpick, followed by the watermelon cube, and another strip of lime zest.