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The Fried Chicken and Watermelon Cocktail


The Fried Chicken and Watermelon cocktail.

Two things that seemingly don't go together — in your drinks, no less — end up being pretty delicious in this cocktail. Made by Josh Goldman from Los Angeles' anticipated new restaurant, Mess Hall, this drink was perfect for the Finger Lickin’ Good Fried Chicken Fest. After all, who doesn't want a piece of fried chicken after a sweet cocktail? 


Bourbon Watermelon Sour

  • 2 Ounces bourbon
  • 2 chunks (1 inch-by-1 inch) watermelon
  • 3/4 Ounces lemon juice
  • 3/4 Ounces simple syrup

Chicken Garnish

  • 5 Pounds chicken skin
  • 1/2 quart buttermilk
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cayenne


Bourbon Watermelon Sour

Lightly muddle all ingredients in a tin. Long hard shake, and double strain into a coup. Place chicken skin garnish (recipe below) on the side of the coup.

Chicken Garnish

Trim the fat off of the chicken skin. Only use pieces larger than 1-inch-by-1-inch. Place chicken pieces into a plastic container and cover with buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.

Melt enough shortening (over low heat) to come just 1/3-inch up the side of a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or heavy fry pan. Once shortening liquefies, raise heat to 325 degrees F. Do not allow oil to go over 325 degrees F.

Drain chicken in a colander. Combine salt, pepper, and cayenne. Liberally season chicken with this mixture. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

Fry in oil until golden brown. Chicken skins will curl when fried. Drain chicken on a rack over a sheet pan. Do not set chicken directly on paper towels or brown paper bags.