Okay, so I’m not going to mention the elephant in the room. I know. We’re so worn out by it all. What I will mention is how I came to find out about this lovely cocktail with its unique combination of ingredients, born in the most unlikely of places.
Last year, back when people were still gathering like, well, humans, a very dear friend of mine was visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom with her husband. They decided to stop for a refreshing drink in a jungle-themed lounge inside the park. Though they had the mocktail version of this tasty beverage, she was kind enough to pass along the ingredients, which I have modified here, as I am prone to do. All of this got me to thinking about how much things have changed.
In the beginning, alcohol was strictly prohibited at any Disney park, except in one very secretive spot. Walt had created an exclusive private restaurant called Club 33, named for the 33 original Disney theme park founders. This swanky eatery was located next door to Pirates of the Caribbean. The only way you would even know it was there was by spotting the small brass plaque emblazoned with a 33 on an inconspicuous door.
I once ate at Club 33, all those years ago, courtesy of another old friend who had the right connections. Needless to say, it was an extremely rewarding pleasure getting verily smashed inside the confines of the magic kingdom. So I bring this cocktail to you as a reminder of simpler times, when getting “legally” drunk at Disneyland was limited to the privileged few.
The Watermelon Quencher
- 3 oz. fresh watermelon juice
- 2 oz. cold hibiscus tea
- 2 oz. tequila
- Juice of one fresh-squeezed lime
- Splash of agave or simple syrup
- Wedge of watermelon to garnish
- Put watermelon into blender to make puree, then use strainer to separate out pulp to make juice.
- Brew hibiscus tea and chill prior to making cocktail.
- Pour tequila, watermelon juice, hibiscus tea, lime juice and agave (to taste) into a cocktail shaker.
- Pour into a tall glass filled with ice, leaving a couple inches for the Sprite.
- Add watermelon wedge as garnish. (Makes one drink.)
David Pitlik is a corporate writer by day, a comedy writer from a previous life, and a lover of great food, wonderful drink and sparkling banter with good friends.