Every summer, someone I know calls for an impromptu celebration of a sunny Greenpoint day in the form of a picnic. Each time, I always show up with the same thing – Watermelon Soju, a boozy pureed watermelon punch that is dangerously (or gloriously) stronger than it tastes.
Watermelon Soju is no secret to anyone familiar with Koreatown’s best offerings but since many people have asked me what goes in it and how I make it, I decided to quench all your curious minds here on Greenpointers.
To start, Watermelon Soju is based on two main ingredients: Watermelon + Soju.
What is soju? I’ve heard people refer it to as Korean vodka. While I’m not an expert on the subject, like Italy’s sambuca to Greece’s ouzo or Turkey’s raki, I see soju as Korea’s answer to Japanese sake (and indeed, you can use sake in place of soju for this recipe).
Making watermelon soju takes just a little bit of arm strength and good taste buds. It’s loosely based on the following ingredients:
– Seedless watermelon
– Lemon Juice
As a disclaimer, sometimes I improvise on these steps, but this is generally how I make it:
1) Cut about two inches off the top of the watermelon
2) Scoop out the fruit with a metal spoon and place it in a giant heart-shaped bowl
3) Use a hand blender to puree everything
4) Add in soju, as strong as you like, and blend it
5) Add in canton, blend, and taste
6) If you like drinks on the sweeter side, add in a little honey
7) Squeeze a bit of lemon juice in the mixture and blend
8) Pour everything back into the watermelon shell and add ice
If serving in cups, I like to garnish with lemon mint. Otherwise, just pass the watermelon around at your own risk!
My watermelon soju will be making an appearance at the Greenpointers Summer Market on Sunday, July 19 (1-7PM) in the beautiful Greenpoint Loft (67 West St, 5th Fl). So if you want a taste, be sure to stop by. RSVP here!
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