Watermelon Gin Punch with Himalayan Salt
Elegant black tea and botanical flavors round out this pretty party punch.
Luccia Corichi, the bar manager at New York City’s Southern Indian restaurant Semma, developed this watermelon gin punch recipe to celebrate chef Romy Gill’s new cookbook, On the Himalayan Trail. Himalayan black salt is mined at the base of the mountains in both India and Pakistan and it has distinctive, smoky-sulfurous notes. The ingredient, when paired with floral pink peppercorns and black tea, lends Corichi’s cheerful fruity cocktail an elegant and layered depth. While any gin will work nicely in this recipe, she recommends seeking out Hapusa Himalayan Dry Gin, which is distilled with wild Himalayan juniper berries and other Indian botanicals.
While Corichi serves this punch straight-up in coupes, she encourages guests looking for a lower ABV drink to enjoy the mix over ice, topped off to taste with a splash of soda water or tonic. (For more on how to incorporate salt into cocktails, check out our primer here.)
For the Himalayan salt syrup:
- 2 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp. whole pink peppercorns
- 1½ tsp. Darjeeling tea leaves
- 1 tsp. Himalayan black salt
- ½ tsp. dried lemon verbena
For the punch and garnish:
- 8½ oz. dry gin, divided
- 7½ oz. fresh watermelon juice, divided
- 5½ oz. Himalayan salt syrup, divided
- 12 small watermelon balls or 1-in. cubes
- 3 oz. fresh lemon juice