A bright mix of watermelon, gin, Aperol, lemon juice, and a splash of club soda, this cocktail from Stella Rosa Pizza Bar in Santa Monica sidesteps the normal pitfalls of watermelon-based cocktails, which tend to veer to the overly sweet. Well-balanced and pleasantly effervescent, the mild astringency of the Aperol tugs back at the melon's sweetness and reignites the gin, elevating this brightly-hued cocktail to the heights of sophistication.
2 2"x1" chunks fresh watermelon, plus wedges to garnish ¾ oz. simple syrup
1 oz. gin ¾ oz. Aperol ¾ oz. lemon juice 1 oz. club soda
Muddle the watermelon chunks and simple syrup together in a cocktail shaker. Add the remaining ingredients, fill shaker with ice, and shake vigorously. Strain over into a wine glass filled with crushed ice and serve garnished with a wedge of watermelon.