Without a doubt, the most frivolous item with a permanent place in my one-butt kitchen is a watermelon keg tapping kit. I use it to serve watermelon martinis, which are equal parts vanilla vodka, Watermelon Pucker Liqueur, and fresh watermelon juice.
If there are kids attending, I’ll put the martinis for adults in a pitcher and let the kids serve themselves fresh watermelon juice out of the watermelon keg. The kids squealed with delight when they found the “watermelon man,” adorned with leaves for ears and cherries for eyes.
You’ll need either an immersion or countertop blender to juice the watermelon. Both have their advantages. An immersion blender (also called a stick blender) takes less storage space, an important factor in RV kitchens. A countertop blender will get the job done faster. In either case, the next step is to pour the juice into a bowl through a mesh strainer.
I use a plastic pitcher that holds 36 ounces to make a batch of cocktails. Since this recipe calls for equal parts of each ingredient, I use 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) each. To fill the watermelon keg with martinis, the measurements will depend on the size of the watermelon. If you are making a single drink, use 2 to 3 tablespoons of each ingredient.
If you want a watermelon martini without having to buy a whole watermelon and juice it, substitute some other pinkish juice for watermelon juice. I’ve tried Safeway Organics Blood Orange Italian Soda and Petey’s Bing Cherry. Since they were about the same color, I did a taste test. (I can imagine bartenders and people with more refined palates rolling their eyes at my selection criteria.) Since most of the watermelon flavor comes from the Watermelon Pucker, my substitutions worked out okay. Jim has a slight preference for the one with blood orange soda; it wasn’t quite as sweet as the others. I liked them all. An added bonus is that your preparation time goes from 45 minutes to 2 minutes.
P.S. I recently tried a bottled watermelon juice from Safeway that was delicious.
Active time: 45 minutes Total time: 45 minutes
- Watermelon keg tapping kit
- Immersion or countertop blender
- Sharp knife
- Large bowl
- Mesh strainer
- Flexible plastic cutting board mat
- Cocktail shaker (if you want them shaken, not stirred, like James Bond)
- 1 1/2 cup (12 oz) vanilla vodka
- 1 1/2 cup (12 oz) Watermelon Pucker Liqueur
- 1 1/2 cup (12 oz) fresh watermelon juice from a seedless watermelon (or Safeway Organics Blood Orange Italian Soda or Petey’s Bing Cherry)
For a single serving, use 2 to 3 tablespoons of each ingredient.
To make a “watermelon man,” you’ll also need something for the eyes and ears. I’ve used cherries or cherry tomatoes for the eyes and leaves for the ears. Attach them with toothpicks.
Cut a thin slice, about 1/4 to 1/3 inch, off of the bottom of the watermelon. This will give you a flat spot that will allow the keg to stand on its own. Take care not to cut into the soft, pink center.
Cut about an inch off the top to create the lid. Make sure it’s wide enough to give you access to scoop out the fruit innards.
If you are using an immersion blender, you can start juicing in the watermelon. Occasionally pour the juice and any free chunks into a bowl through a mesh strainer.
If you are using a countertop blender, scoop out the watermelon, put the chunks into a blender, and puree until smooth. Pour the juice and chunks into a bowl through a mesh strainer.
When most of the watermelon has been removed, use a spoon on the sides to get any loose pieces that could clog the faucet. Leave about 2 inches at the bottom to prevent leaking.
Use the coring tool to make a hole 3 inches above the bottom of the watermelon. Insert the faucet through the hole. Tighten the locking nut onto the shank end of the faucet on the inside of the watermelon.
Combine equal parts vanilla vodka, Watermelon Pucker, and watermelon juice. Fill the watermelon keg with the martinis — or pure juice if you are entertaining kids — and replace the lid. Hold lid in place with toothpicks. Decorate keg as desired.
Put a flexible plastic cutting board mat on the edge of a table. This helps to keep the keg and the table or table cloth clean. Place the watermelon keg on top of the mat. Pull the handle forward to dispense, and push back to stop.
To serve martini style, pour a single serving into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass.
I prefer it in a cocktail glass filled to the brim with ice; it’s not quite as strong that way.