HomeMakers Bar in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood is named for both the watering hole’s welcoming feel and its midcentury design inspiration. This frozen concoction is an elevated version of the high school party trick of upending a bottle of vodka in a watermelon. “By freezing the watermelon and its ingredients, we can preserve and hang on to summer as long as we want,” says co-founder and manager Catherine Manabat. “Nothing says summer more than watermelon.”
This recipe originally appeared as part of “4 Frozen Bourbon Cocktails for the Last (Official) Days of Summer.”
Cut the watermelon in half and use a melon baller to scoop out the flesh, then place in a shallow container with a lid.
Strain out excess liquid from container. Slowly add the bourbon and fennel-infused Cocchi Americano into the container, allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding more. (The liquid should eventually be completely soaked up by the melon.) Put a lid on the container and freeze for 3 to 4 hours. Scoop out into coupe or bowl. Garnish with sea salt, black pepper and chopped basil.
*Fennel-infused Cocchi Americano: Add 1/2 cup chopped fennel fronds and a 750 mL bottle of Cocchi Americano to a jar. Seal and refrigerate for 24 hours, then strain out solids. Store in the refrigerator for up to several weeks.