“I grew up in Jamaica where we grow watermelons year-round, and it makes the most refreshing juice,” says bartender Duke Reid about the inspiration for his creative riff on the classic mojito. To make a watermelon mojito, Reed adds freshly juiced watermelon and replaces neutral soda water with vibrantly spicy ginger beer.
Watermelon grows abundantly in South Carolina, too, making it a natural match for the drink at the Hilton Head Island resort. Yet, it’s the mint that’s acquired closest by, Reid notes. “We just recently planted a new garden on the property, growing our garnishes for drinks.”
How to Make a Watermelon Mojito
Duke Reid, bartender, The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa, Hilton Head, SC
Muddle the lime half and mint in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add rum, watermelon juice, simple syrup, and ice. Shake well, then strain into a highball glass filled with fresh ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with watermelon wedge and mint sprig.