The extracted juice from bitter melons takes the place of common bittering agents, such as Campari, in this floral, lime-punched cocktail.
- 1 medium bitter melon (about 4 oz.)
- 1 oz. simple syrup
- 3⁄4 oz. fresh lime juice
- 3⁄4 oz. gin
- 2 oz. soda water
- Lime wheel, to garnish
Using a box grater, finely grate the dark green skin of bitter melon into a large bowl lined with cheesecloth. Gather the edges of the cheesecloth together and twist to squeeze the juice from the bitter melon pulp. Pour 1 tablespoon of the bitter melon juice into a cocktail shaker and save the rest for more cocktails.
Add simple syrup, lime juice, and gin to the shaker, fill with ice cubes, and cover. Shake until well-chilled, about 15 seconds, and pour into a tall glass filled with ice. Top the cocktail with soda water and stir gently to combine. Garnish with a lime wheel just before serving.