Exploring the Crushable Cocktail Creations at Novio’s

Have you ever wondered what makes the cocktails at some bars so unique, delightful, and perfectly balanced? At Novio’s, the magic is the result of the partnership between Bob and Courtney. Their strong synergy, rooted in mutual respect and a shared enthusiasm for mixology, allows them to push the boundaries of traditional cocktail making, resulting in innovative drinks that consistently impress their patrons.

Summer brings an abundance of fresh herbs, seasonal fruits, and enticing light flavors that these cocktail virtuosos embrace. This year, their summer menu inspiration is watermelon, a fruit renowned for its refreshing and sweet taste. Bob and Courtney incorporate this fruit as a core element in their seasonal offerings, beginning with the creation of versatile bases—watermelon water and watermelon simple syrup.

The Foundation: Watermelon Water and Simple Syrup

Creating Watermelon Water

  1. Preparation: Start with a fresh watermelon, remove the skin, and dice the flesh into small pieces.
  2. Blending: Blend the diced watermelon until smooth.
  3. Straining: Pour the blended mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove the pulp, leaving behind a clear, vibrant liquid.

Making Watermelon Simple Syrup

  1. Mixing: Combine equal parts watermelon water and sugar by weight.
  2. Heating: Gently heat the mixture until the sugar completely dissolves, creating a sweet, flavorful syrup that enhances any cocktail.

Tip for Home Mixologists: Both watermelon water and watermelon simple syrup are easy to make at home. These components can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days, allowing you to experiment with your own watermelon cocktails.

Elevating Vodka Cocktails

Vodka, often considered a neutral spirit, can be challenging to make exciting. Bob and Courtney tackle this by adding bold flavors and heat, including jalapeno and ginger. 

Spicy Watermelon Mule

  • Ingredients: Vodka, watermelon water, jalapeño, ginger beer, fresh lime juice.
  • Method: Mix the ingredients in a copper mug. The result is a spicy, refreshing mule that surprises the palate with every sip.

“All summer long, I start drinking gimlets like it’s my job. Gin comes out to play.”

While vodka provides a solid base, Bob and Courtney’s creativity truly shines when they work with more complex spirits like gin and mezcal. 

Watermelon Gimlet

Gin’s botanical complexity pairs beautifully with watermelon’s sweetness.

  • Ingredients: Ford’s gin, lime juice, watermelon simple syrup.
  • Method: Shake with ice and strain into a chilled glass. This gimlet offers a delightful balance of citrus and sweetness, perfect for warm evenings.

“I really enjoy how the mezcal mixes with the citrus, and you get the play on the sweet, you get the tart, and you get the smokiness in the background.” -Courtney Meherg

Smoky Watermelon Margarita

Courtney’s fondness for mezcal introduces a smoky dimension to their cocktail lineup. 

  • Ingredients: Reposado mezcal, watermelon simple syrup, lime juice, Liqueur 43.
  • Method: Shake and serve over ice. The combination of smokiness, sweetness, and tartness makes this margarita a complex and refreshing drink.

Versatility and Inclusivity

Understanding the need for inclusivity, Bob and Courtney also develop mocktail versions of their creations, ensuring everyone can enjoy the refreshing flavors of summer. 

Watermelon Fizzy Lemonade

  • Ingredients: Watermelon simple syrup, lemon juice, club soda.
  • Method: Shake and top with soda. This mocktail is a fizzy, delightful alternative that’s perfect for all ages.

So, whether you’re a whiskey enthusiast or a cocktail aficionado, we invite you to join us on our Cocktails with Friends podcast, where we share insider tips, secret recipes, and engaging conversations with fellow enthusiasts of fine food and drink.