Red Lady

  • Serves

    makes 1 Cocktail


Fresh watermelon, basil, and cayenne combine with pisco—a fruity, spicy eau de vie distilled from grapes—for a sweet-spicy summertime cocktail from bartender Cliff Mejia of New York's Analogue.


For the Cayenne Syrup

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. cayenne

For the Cocktail

  • 2 (1½") chunks seedless watermelon, plus wedge for garnish
  • 1 basil leaf
  • 2 oz. pisco
  • 1 oz. cayenne syrup
  • 1 oz. fresh lemon juice


Step 1

Make the cayenne syrup: Boil sugar with 1 cup water in 1-qt. saucepan; cook until sugar is dissolved, 2–3 minutes. Whisk in 2 tsp. cayenne; let cool. Makes about 1 cup; syrup will keep, refrigerated, for up to two weeks.

Step 2

Muddle watermelon and basil in a shaker. Add pisco, cayenne syrup, lemon juice, and ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice; garnish with watermelon slice.

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