This week I was inspired by Kahakai Kitchen's yummy Honeydew-Mint Agua Fresca recipe and decided to create an "agua fresca style" jelly shot, using watermelon and a different aromatic, basil
Recipe testing for this jelly shot was conducted with both vodka and gin - it works great with either. I must admit I was very taken with a version made Hendrick's Gin - and even added a drop of rosewater to bring out the floral notes in the gin. (Important safety tip - a SINGLE drop of the highly potent rosewater will do - its tempting to use more but take it from me, this will result in a jelly shot that tastes rather bouquet-ish!)
For serving, I can't resist a floral motif for this jelly shot - love the melon-y pink and the nod to the rosewater! Skewers are shown above, with the jelly shots cut into 3/4 inch squares and interspersed with watermelon flowers (cut with a tiny cookie cutter) and slices of fresh basil. Another option is to set the jelly shots in a flexible silicon mold, and place on a slice of watermelon (as shown below). In either case, the watermelon slices and basil add a nice burst of flavor. If you don't have time to mess around with molds and skewers, set the jelly shots in a pan as directed, cut into cubes, and top with a little finely chopped watermelon and basil on top, salsa style.
The floral treatment . . .
Recipe follows. If you plan on using molds or skewers, do add an extra 1/2 package of Knox gelatin (1/2 package = about 1 tsp). If you are using sheet gelatin, please visit the recipe tab on the blog for the conversion.
Watermelon Basil Rose Martini
Recommended Pan: 1-pound loaf pan (approximately 8” x 4”/20 x 10 cm)
1/2 cup water
5 tablespoons frozen limeaid concentrate (thawed)
2 envelopes Knox gelatin
2/3 cup vodka or Hendricks Gin
2/3 cup watermelon basil juice (recipe follows)
1 drop rosewater (if desired)
1/4 inch thick seedless watermelon slices, for garnish (if desired)
Pour water and limeaid concentrate into a small saucepan and sprinkle with the 2 envelopes of gelatin. Allow the gelatin to soak for a minute or two. Heat over very low heat until gelatin is dissolved, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vodka or gin and watermelon juice. Add rosewater if desired. Pour mixture into loaf pan or molds. Place in refrigerator to cool, several hours or overnight.
To serve, cut into desired shapes (or unmold). Cut shapes out of the watermelon slices with a cookie cutter or a sharp knife. Place one shot on each watermelon shape. Makes 18 to 24 jelly shots.
Watermelon Basil Juice
1/2 pound seedless watermelon chunks (about 2 cups)
10 large fresh basil leaves (about 1/4 cup)
Food processor and strainer
Place watermelon and basil in the bowl of the food processor and process until very smooth. Strain through fine mesh strainer to remove any solids.