Watermelon–Garam Masala G & Ts

Invented in India, the gin and tonic was an early version of malaria prevention. This version, developed by cocktail experts Bull in China and for chef Troy MacLarty of Bollywood Theater in Portland, Oregon, can cure all kinds of things, especially the boring-cocktail blues, thanks to the spectacularly layered flavor of Garam Masala Syrup in this gluten free gin and tonic.

Watermelon–Garam Masala G & Ts

Servings 8
Author Troy MacLarty

Ingredients

  • 2 cups watermelon juice (from about 1-1/2 pounds of watermelon)
  • 1 recipe Garam Masala Syrup (below)
  • 1-1/2 cups good-quality gin (Troy uses Plymouth brand)
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups tonic water (Troy likes Fever-Tree brand)
  • Ice cubes
  • 8 sprigs fresh mint, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a pitcher, combine the watermelon juice, Garam Masala Syrup, gin, and lemon juice.
  2. Fill 8 (10-ounce) Collins glasses with ice. Divide the gin mixture among the glasses, top each glass with tonic, garnish with a mint sprig, and serve.

Garam Masala Syrup

MAKES 3/4 CUP The mélange of vibrant spices that make up the garam masala spice (available at most grocery stores) transforms simple syrup into an exotic elixir that’s spectacular in cocktails or with soda water.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons garam masala (Indian spice mix)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Bring 1/2 cup water and the garam masala to a simmer. Turn off the heat and let the mixture steep for 5 minutes. Add the sugars and heat until the sugars are completely dissolved. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer and let cool. Whisk before using.

Photography John Valls

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