Original Recipe No. 86 —


Some of you might have noticed that the Lolita cocktail has seen different variations over the years. Well, I think we nailed it on this one and this version is here to stay. The inspiration for this cocktail actually came from my chef at work. He was featuring a watermelon salad with all the ingredients seen in this cocktail. I showed my co-worker and partner in crime Paul Palombo and said, “If these flavors are working in this salad they can work in this cocktail.” Thus the Lolita cocktail was born.

Let’s Make the Lolita

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz honey syrup (1:1)
  • 1 oz freshly juiced tomato
  • 2 watermelon chunks for muddling
  • 3 basil leaves for muddling
  • Couple dashes of balsamic vinegar
  • Garnish with a cherry tomato and a basil leaf

Muddle the basil and watermelon first in your cocktail shaker. Add all other ingredients except the garnish and shake with ice. Double strain into an ice filled double old fashioned glass. Garnish with a cherry tomato and basil leaf.

note: the tomato can also be muddled in this cocktail if you’re not juice crazy like me.

5 Notes on Lolita

  1. This might be the perfect application for the elusive “Galliano Balsamico” liqueur.

    Look under ‘Fragranza’ for the Balsamico liqueur.

    As far as I know, it’s only available to the UK and/or European markets, but you can always call it ‘creative investment’ to justify shipping.

  2. This drink looks very refreshing and esthetic, but when making it I was a bit disappointed. First of all, the drink layers itself unless you imbibe it in a gulp. The watermelon mush and tomato residue does not stay in the sieve in spite of double straining. Secondly I think this drink is better off without the balsamic vinegar– it makes it murky, unless you are supposed to use white balsamic vinegar. Tastewise it’s good, but I think it’s better to stay away from making a salad into a drink.

    • Paul, these recipes are not set in stone and it’s perfectly fine to adjust the recipe to your taste. I’m not sure what’s going on with your sieve or your separation. I’m not having the issues you are. I usually make a large batch of fresh tomato/watermelon juice then strain and bottle for events. Maybe you could add a light dusting of xanthan gum if you wanted to help bind the two together. You can also muddle the watermelon very easily and it thickens the cocktail, which I like. However, I never muddle the tomato. The vision of this cocktail was a unique/healthy brunch cocktail. I disagree with you on making a salad into a drink and I find the flavors to work extremely well together. I enjoy the balsamic as it gives the cocktail a nice touch of acidity. But again, everyone has their own preferences.

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