As Christmas approaches, I start to think about family, and how important it is to have them, whether they be blood relatives, or close friends, who are always there for you when you need them. From the moment we are born, we start making our traditions, at first with our parents and siblings, and then, as we grow older and leave the nest, with our partners, children, and friends. These little traditions, whether they be silly or serious, pop up every year like clockwork, and don’t I love them, particularly at this time of year.
One of our traditions is to drink Daiquiris at Christmas, and this started years before our children were born. I’d experiment with various seasonal fruit (you have to remember in Australia Christmas means summer), sugar syrup, and copious amounts of white rum, and my husband and I would sit outside in our garden and drink large jugs of whatever concoction I had dreamt up that year. Watermelon and plum was always a firm favourite, and then later mango daiquiris became the Christmas staple; our children enjoying one without the generous amounts of rum that my other half loves. But now grown they keep up with us, although remarking sometimes that their father should be a little less generous with the rum.
This summer has kicked off hotter than usual so I’ve decided to revisit my watermelon and plum daiquiri recipe. I need freshness, and iciness, and I’m even thinking I could make these into paddle pops, perfect for our summer break after we return from the beach. The lovely thing about this flavour is that it intensifies as plum-season progresses. And if you choose to make this in autumn you will have Blood Plums, and therefore, a truly amazing deep red-purple colour.
The recipe below makes a Daiquiri that is icy, fresh and somewhat like a granita. For a creamier texture use 1/3 watermelon to 2/3 plum.
This amount makes enough for about 12 cocktails, depending on the size of your glass.
You will need:
- 1k watermelon, rind and seeds removed
- 1k sweet, ripe plums
- 1 cup castor sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1 bottle white rum
- 1 lemon
Firstly, make the sugar syrup. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water and bring to a simmer. Cook for a couple of minutes until sugar is dissolved. Turn off heat and cool. This makes 2.5 cups light sugar syrup.
Cut watermelon into chunks, and in a blender process until smooth. Pour into a large bowl.
In the base of each plum, cut a small cross. Put plums into a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over. Leave for about 30 seconds, pour off water, peel plums and cut flesh away from the stone. Process plums until smooth in your blender, and add to the watermelon puree. You will have approximately 2 litres of fruit puree.
To the fruit purée, add 1 cup of the cooled sugar syrup, taste for sweetness, and add more syrup if needed. If your plums are lovely and sweet, you’ll need less syrup, add more if necessary. I have at times used the full amount of syrup, depending on the sweetness of the plums. At this stage, add a squeeze of lemon juice if you think the mix is too sweet.
Now, it’s time to add the white rum, and only you know how much. Start by pouring in half of the bottle. Yes, that’s right. Then taste, you might like more. At this stage my husband and I don’t agree, he would like more rum. Me, well I have no say.
When the mix is to your preference, put it into a container with a lid and place it into the freezer overnight. Our daiquiris always freeze to a slushy mix, which we are able to spoon out easily into glasses, but if you use less rum, your mix will be firmer. If that’s the case, take it out of the freezer half an hour before serving.