At Silver Star Cafe in Park City, owner Lisa Cilva Ward says, “We did an elderberry gastrique for fall cocktails, and our lead mixologist Lucas Anderson has come up with a watermelon version for summer.” Typically, a cocktail gastrique calls for caramelizing the sugar, then adding vinegar and fruit.

Daytime sipping: The “Melondramatic” 

  • 1¼ oz. local Beehive vodka
  • 1 oz. watermelon basil gastrique*
  •  

Evening enjoyment: “When Life Gives You Melons” 

  • 1¼ oz. Wahaka Mezcal
  • ½ oz. St. Germaine
  • ½ oz. watermelon basil gastrique*
  •  

*Watermelon basil gastrique

  • 2 cups Slide Ridge honey wine vinegar
  • 1¼ cups Condimento Bianco (white vinegar, balsamic vinegar,
  • grape must)
  • 3 cups loosely packed, torn fresh basil
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1½ cups freshly squeezed watermelon juice
  • 4 cups watermelon chunks
  • Make a simple syrup by combining the sugar with the fresh watermelon juice and warming just enough to dissolve the sugar.
  • Pour over the watermelon chunks and torn basil; mix.
  • Add honey wine vinegar and Condiments Bianco.
  • Cover and allow to rest at room temperature for two hours.
  • Strain watermelon and basil out of mixture, and crush them in the strainer to release the remainder of the juice into the mixture.
  • Add water to taste (optional).