Gazpacho has its origins in the Andalusian region of Spain, where its roots extend far back. Usually made of fresh vegetables with a tomato base, a touch of acidity and served cold, it is a refreshing and tangy way to beat the heat.
The sweltering summer months call for a chilled and flavorful dish that encapsulates the bounty of seasonal and local produce that abounds. This version, using ripe and sweet watermelon, is a surprising but welcomed twist to the traditional iteration.
Gazpacho has made itself a standard star at cocktail parties; usually served in shot glasses, it is taste-packed and dainty enough to be sipped.
Here we top this twist on the original with a little bit of chilled vodka, which complements the sweetness and is sure to liven up any party.
(Make 20 servings)
1 mini seedless watermelon
2 Roma tomatoes
1 celery stalk
¼ of an English cucumber
¼ cup of red onion
1 small jalapeño (optional)
1 cup (250 ml) of tomato juice
1 teaspoon (5 ml) of red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of black pepper
1 teaspoon (5 ml) of salt
10 ounces (295 ml) of chilled vodka
Cut the watermelon into quarters, and then cut the flesh out of three of the quarters and place in a blender. Blend on high speed until liquefied. Cut the flesh of the remaining quarter of the watermelon into ¼ cm cubes and place in a large pitcher.
Strain the pureed watermelon into the pitcher.
Dice the tomato, celery, cucumber, red onion, and jalapeno (if using) into ¼ cm cubes and add to the pitcher. Stir in the tomato juice, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. Cover the pitcher with a lid or cling film and allow to chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours.
To serve, use two-ounce shot glasses. Fill each shot glass with 1 ½ ounces of the gazpacho and slowly top with the chilled vodka, creating a layer.
For easy serving, the shots can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator until guests arrive.