This post is sponsored by Bimini Gin. Learn more about this unique gin from Maine here!
This Strawberry Watermelon Gin Cooler is everything we love about summer cocktails: a little sweet, a little sour, and oh so refreshing! Made with the vibrant, citrusy Bimini Gin, muddled watermelon, pink grapefruit liqueur, homemade strawberry syrup, and lime juice, this is a patio or poolside cocktail that you’ll want to sip on all summer long.
Today is officially the first day of summer and I’ve chosen a very special gin to celebrate the occasion! Bimini Gin is a crisp, modern American gin out of Biddeford, Maine that was quite literally made for summer.
Bimini is made with a select list of botanicals that includes:
- Juniper Berries
- Coriander Seeds
- Mt. Hood Hops
- Grapefruit Peel
- Aromatic Barley Malt
- Orris Root
Bimini uses juniper, gin’s primary botanical, a bit differently than most by extracting only the floral and fruity notes of this typically pine-forward spice. The result is a smooth and citrusy liquor that still tastes like gin, but is perfectly suited to modern palettes seeking more versatile spirits that blend with a wide range of flavors.
Bimini Gin: a handcrafted spirit for sunshine and warm breezes
Bimini is a handcrafted and hand-bottled gin that was inspired by hot summer days on the coast of Maine. Its clean and crisp flavors work as beautifully in tall, refreshing cocktails as they do in more spirit-forward classics like the Negroni. The company even suggests trying Bimini in place of light rum in your favorite tropical drinks. (A Bimini Mojito is definitely on my to do list!)
With such a wide range of gins available today, I really love that while Bimini is unique and distinct, it still tastes like true gin. Many modern gins today have strayed a bit too far from the classic juniper-forward flavor, becoming something else entirely. That’s not the case with Bimini. Instead, the juniper is present, but softened and well-rounded with other contrasting botanicals, making it more approachable.
A versatile gin for all your summer cocktails
The crisp nature of gin already makes it well-suited to spring and summer cocktails (think Bees Knees, Gin and Tonic, etc), and Bimini’s smooth, citrusy vibe takes it to another level, playing well with a whole new range of flavors, from coconut and tropical fruits to watermelon!
The Bimini Special is the choice serve for those new to the spirit. It’s cool, refreshing, and a bit unexpected. Bimini Gin is paired simply with coconut water, citrus, and bitters, allowing the flavors of the gin to shine through. Tip: Try it with a naturally pink coconut water
(such as Harmless Harvest) for an even more beautiful summer sip!
We recommend the Bimini Special, a recipe inspired by a drink in the Ernest Hemingway novel, “Islands in the Stream.” Set amidst the white sands and tall coconut palms of the island of Bimini in the 1930s, relaxing after a day of marlin fishing the protagonist sips a “tall cold drink made of gin, lime juice, green coconut water, and chipped ice with just enough Angostura bitters to give it a rusty, rose color.”
Bimini Special, the signature Bimini Gin cocktail:
- 2 oz Bimini Gin
- 4 oz coconut water
- 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- A dash of simple syrup
- Combine ingredients with ice
- Shake until cold
- Strain into a Collins glass with fresh ice
- Garnish with lime
What’s in the Strawberry Watermelon Gin Cooler
After experimenting with Bimini in a variety of drinks, the other half of my team (my husband Jeff) and I decided to combine it with the lush flavor of ripe watermelon, strawberries, and bright pink grapefruit. This summery gin cocktail is made with:
- 1.5 oz Bimini Gin
- 4 chunks watermelon (about ¼ cup)
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- .5 oz pink grapefruit liqueur
- .75 oz strawberry syrup
How to make the strawberry syrup
To make an easy strawberry syrup, combine 1 part sugar and 1 part water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then add 2 parts strawberries and cook just until the fruit begins to break down, about 5-10 minutes. Remove the syrup from the heat and allow to cool, then strain out the fruit. Store any leftover syrup in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Pro tip: add an ounce of vodka or grain alcohol to the syrup to help it keep fresh even longer. Learn more about syrups and how to make just about any cocktail syrup in my Ultimate Guide to Cocktail Syrups.
You may also like these other popular gin recipes:
- Strawberry Basil Gin Sour
- Blood Orange & Turmeric Collins
- Mandarin Ginger Gin Sour
- Raspberry Rose Floradora
Strawberry Watermelon Gin Cooler
For the cocktail:
- 1 ½ oz Bimini Gin
- 4 chunks watermelon (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
- ½ oz pink grapefruit liqueur (I like to use Giffard)
- ¾ oz strawberry syrup
For the strawberry syrup:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups strawberries, washed, hulled, and chopped
For the strawberry syrup:
- Combine the sugar and the water in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then add the strawberries and cook just until the fruit begins to break down, about 5-10 minutes.
- Remove the syrup from the heat and allow to cool, then strain out the fruit with a fine mesh strainer.
- Store leftover syrup in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
For the cocktail:
- In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, muddle the watermelon with the lime juice.
- Add the gin, strawberry syrup, and grapefruit liqueur and fill the shaker 3/4 with ice.
- Shake until chilled, then strain the cocktail into a small wine glass or rocks glass filled with ice.
- Garnish with watermelon and a kinome leaf (if desired).