Red Lady

Red Lady Watermelon Cocktail
Zoe Schaeffer

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.

Red Lady
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]
Yield: makes 1 Cocktail

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

Instructions

  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.
  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.