Virga cocktail with gin, aloe liqueur (Chareau), watermelon juice, and lime juice.

Virga

This recipe comes from the Chareau company, makers of a fabulous aloe liqueur. It was originally called “Unnamed Chareau Drink #1,” a name that hardly does justice to this brilliantly quenching blend of watermelon, aloe, and botanicals. This version of the recipe omits a sweetener, which we hope justifies an improved new name.

At the time of this writing, it’s a hot, dry summer day in Arizona, deep in what was meant to be the monsoon season. We’re inspired by the rainclouds overhead, pouring droplets that never reach the ground but instead evaporate in a desert phenomenon known as “virga.” A fine name for a drink!

Chareau’s recipe called for a half-ounce (15 mL) of simple syrup, which we found unnecessary and cloying; the aloe liqueur and watermelon juice are plenty sweet enough. Feel free to add it back in if you have a sweet tooth. The watermelon juice really should be fresh; commercial watermelon juice tends to be more watery, and not nearly as flavorful.

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into an ice-filled short glass. Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary.

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