Watermelon Gin Cocktail Recipe - Tourer  Watermelon Southside
Story behind Southside
Rumoured to be Al Capone’s favourite drink (the boss of organised crime dominating the Southside of Chicago), the Southside, originally served long over crushed ice, is legendary amongst the southern Chicago locals. 

This vintage cocktail is purported to have been popularised from the New York’s Twenty-One Club. However like most cocktail origins, this is heavily debated. Coming into fashion in the 1920’s this aptly named cocktail represented the favourite drink of the Southside mobsters - the gang who dominated Southside Chicago during this era, whilst on the other side of town, the Northside hoodlums enjoyed the Northside cocktail (gin and ginger ale). 

The Southside amongst many other classics of the 1920’s was made as a result of prohibition.
Tourer watermelon gin southside cocktail,  close up shot showing a handmade fan garnish with fresh watermelons.
Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Ciroc Released Watermelon vodka in July 2019, proving alcoholic watermelon cocktails were destined to storm through the coming years. As well as P Diddy, George Clooney and Rande Gerber in 2013 promoted their new tequila, mixing beautifully with watermelon juice, the likes of Kim Kardashian and Denise Richards have been seen to enjoy this tipple. 

Jay-Z has also been seen enjoying watermelon and mint in his own cognac based cocktail creation. Famous chefs including Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey and Nigella Lawson have all been seen enjoying this beautiful cocktail, and with palates as advanced as theirs, you could almost guarantee they would love the Tourer Watermelon Southside.
Tourer gin cocktail getting poured from a cocktail shaker into a  martini glass
How does the Southside bring people closer together? 
Whether it is to reduce the nerves before a first date, or to spend time with loved ones, the Southside has and will forever bring people closer together. 

Its complimentary to be invited out for ‘drinks’ and what better way to accommodate that invitation than the watermelon and mint made cocktail that is the South Side. Regardless, a drink breaks the surface tension of sitting around a table with people. Beyond just the social boost that caffeine or alcohol give, holding a drink gives us something to do with our hands, a menu to look at in in the moment eye contact is uncomfortable, and something to do with our mouth when we don’t want to speak. 

Drinks provide us with an excuse to gather, give us something tasty to enjoy, and create a less confronting environment conducive to conversation. 

Why this cocktail is a must try. 
This is a cocktail for the health conscious, mind focused, sun kissed individual who desires an escape to early summer. Splashing around in a 2 foot swimming pool, picking grass out flicked in from the in-between parts of a dogs paw. The refreshing and crisp finish will satisfy every need to feel awake, vibrant and floral. 

Imagine a Michelangelo painting fresh out of the box, without all the historical dust, throwing its glorious colours into your face for the first time. Stir these ideas into a glass and voila, the Tourer Watermelon Southside.
Watermelon southside cocktail alongside Tourer Gin bottle and watermelon slices to create a moment.

How to make the Tourer Southside

50ml Tourer Gin - Watermelon and Mint
25ml Lime 
15ml Watermelon Puree 
10ml Sugar syrup 
7 mint leaves (Add Ginger ale for the Northside Variation) 

1. To start, make the sugar syrup by adding 2 parts sugar and 1 part water into a receptacle. 
2. Prepare the mint by gently picking the leaves off a stem, being careful not to bruise the leaves, as this will extract the oils onto your hand, and not in the drink! 
3. To make watermelon puree. Cut the watermelon into small chunks and make the garnish before you make the watermelon puree. To make the puree, simply cut and dice a watermelon and place into a blender. Then add 50g of sugar and 50ml of lime juice. strain through a fine strainer.
4. Build all ingredients into a cocktail shaker using a jigger (measuring cup) add ice there quarters of the way up and shake away for around 10 seconds.
5. Using a fine strainer pour into a martini glass. Garnish with watermelon triangles. 
Nutrition Facts 
Servings: 1 
Calories 217
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g                                1%
Saturated Fat 0g                       0%
Cholesterol 0mg                       0%
Sodium 11mg                             0% 
Total Carbohydrate 20.4g7% 
Dietary Fiber 0.7g                      3%
Total Sugars 9g                              
Protein 1g                                      
Rate Our Cocktail
Two watermelon southside cocktails side by side with an overhead shot showing off garnished watermelons in a martini glass.
People drink with their eyes. (Not a reference to Eye Ball Paul from Kevin and Perry Go Large) a good garnish, and great presentation will always improve the flavour of any drink, as it concretes the positive expectation of any consumable product. Garnish the Tourer Southside with a few small triangles of watermelon.

Ginger Ale for Tourer Gin Northside 
Fentinmans ginger ale is best complimented with the Tourer Northside, as this recipe is near to unchanged since Fentimans first began botanically brewing their soft drinks in 1905. Ginger beer is also accepted, diverting away from the original recipe, this is an effective twist on the classic. When using carbonated drinks, it is always recommended to serve it over ice.   
Tourer watermelon cocktail overhead shot with chopping board and watermelon slices
What cocktail shaker to use? 
The Mezclar range of cocktail equipment from Beaumont is terrific when it comes to home bar kit. See below for purchasing options. Beaumont has been used by industry mixologist for many years now and the robust nature of their equipment it easy to see why they are the preferred choice. Their sleek designs make their equipment perfect for any home, cocktail bar or hotel! 

Variation Suggestions: 
To add your own twist on the Tourer Watermelon Southside, why not try substituting the ingredients with the suggestions below:
Instead of Lime you could use lemon or grapefruit.
Instead of simple sugar syrup, you could use cucumber syrup or maple syrup.
Instead of using mint only, you could add coriander leaves, cinnamon, chocolate or even chilli flakes!
two watermelon southside cocktail alongside Tourer Gin bottle and watermelon slices to create a moment.

A note from the creator: Brandon Ambrose - Global Bar Consultant

How did you come up with the modern twist on the classic recipe?
 “I was watching a documentary on Al Capone, and had to find out more about his affect on prohibition around 1920. Discovering his obsession for the Southside cocktail, I had to bring this cocktail back to life exactly 100 years later, but not without adding my own modern twist. It then seemed fitting to add the Tourer Watermelon and Mint gin. I have always been a fan of English floral flavours in drinks (mint, juniper etc) and love experimenting with new and interesting ideas that the average cocktail enthusiast hasn’t yet experienced or thought of. The Southside has always been on my radar of malleable cocktails to twist and adapt to modern trends. It was a no brainer to whip some Tourer Watermelon and Mint gin in there” 

How would you sell it someone on the bar?
“This is an easy one, you’d ask them a series of simple questions about what flavours they like, and 9/10 they will be open to try something similar to what they’ve had before. Most cocktail drinkers would have guzzled a mojito once in their life, so we can assume mint is something they wouldn’t turn their nose up to. Being in the UK, it is rare to find someone who has never tried watermelon either, so I always find a winner when presenting the idea of mixing the two familiar flavours together’  

How would you sell it to bartenders? 
“Having great spirits and great flavour combinations on the back bar has been shown to promote palate exploration amongst bartenders. The ability to sell something typically comes from confidence in the product being sold. Having Tourer Watermelon and Mint gin on the back bar opens up the bartenders encyclopaedia of recipes even more so. The Southside should always be the go to cocktail when introducing patrons to Tourer Gin. Bartenders are salespeople. fact. A guest comes to the bar to buy something, the bartender is there to sell something. Therefore bartenders tend to usually possess the ‘gift of the gab’ and will tend to educate guests willing to learn more about what they’re drinking and as Tourer has such a great back story as it is, as well as the story behind the Southside, it will be easy for any bartender to sell this recipe to their guests.”

Why do you like it? 
 “I like this drink most because of the balanced way it sits on my palate. The citrus notes hit you first quickly followed by the sweet. But the two most dominate flavours that linger are the Watermelon, juniper and Mint. First the watermelon explodes like a bath bomb coating your whole mouth. The juniper creeps up behind and kicks the watermelon into a ‘Popeye eating spinach’ state, and really pushes the flavour through, balancing the sweet with the bitter juniper. To finish, a gentle floral touch of mint accommodates the cocktail down to make you relive that fresh, early morning breeze of crisp spring air.”