Spicy Watermelon Cocktail

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The cool and refreshing Watermelon and Lemon juice paired with the heady gingery chilli with the faint hints of earthy Basil makes this cocktail a keeper for sure. Tuesday was one of those long workdays so as soon as it was over, all I wanted was a drink and my bed but as luck would have it, it was the day before Eid and as is customary in Dubai on the nights before religious holidays vendors are not allowed to serve alcoholic drinks, so I took it upon myself to play bartender.


I still haven’t gotten the spicy cocktail I had at Fume out of my mind, I knew whatever drink I was making had to be refreshing and spicy. I started by preparing a simple syrup infused with freshly grated ginger, chilli and basil (The three make a delicious combination which is also great with chicken) and like I say in my newly updated About page, I like my I like my sweet with savory and spicy and sour so I reached for some watermelon for some sweet and lemon for some sour.


I only had enough fruit to make three drinks but I made enough syrup to make a dozen so feel free to multiply the base and invite your friends over. Your friends will Ooo and Aah about this drink and you’ll feel like an award winning mixologist, at least that’s how I felt when I made this drink for my friends. In fact one of them named it “Dead End” because although the spice reverberates throughout the drink you really get the kick as you finish it because some of the syrup settles at the bottom. Please enjoy and as always let me know what you think if you do.

Spicy Syrup

4 Chilli peppers

Ginger (thumb size)

1 teaspoon of dried basil

½ cups Sugar

1 cup of water

Note: This syrup makes way more that you’ll need for 3 drinks so store in an air tight container in the fridge till you make this drink again.

Base for 3 Drinks

500g Watermelons

2 lemons

1 shot Whiskey (optional)


Dried Basil

Lemon wedges

Whole Chilli



  1. Make Syrup: Bring the ingredients for the spicy syrup to a boil and let it simmer till the mixture reduces in size by half. This should take 15- 20 minutes. Let cool before use.
  1. Prepare Base: I blended my watermelon with the lemon juice then sieve the mixture to remove the pulp and reserve in a clean pitcher.
  1. Assemble Glasses: I prepare the glasses by rimming them with lemon juice, then dipping one edge into the syrup then lightly coating it with dried basil. Finish with a small lemon wedge.
  1. Divide your juice into 3 glasses evenly then top with 1tablespoon of the spicy syrup and 2 tablespoon of whiskey and some ice. You can adjust the measurements depending on how strong or sweet you want your drink.
  1. Top with the whole chilli and some ice and serve.

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