Your Fresh Watermelon Salad Deserves A Splash Of Rum

Watermelon salad is perhaps one of the best ways to enjoy a summer watermelon. The salad is perfect for any and all outdoor events — and made all the better when paired with a refreshing warm-weather cocktail. But if you'd rather skip the middleman and combine your drink with your dish, consider adding some rum to your next watermelon salad. 

Chef Matt Neal tells Food & Wine that even a splash of rum can offer a fun and adult twist to the otherwise simple summer side. "It's even more satisfying then," he says.

Rum, from the bottle or as an extract, is no stranger to fruit salads. It's been known to add some oomph to fresh fruit, whether it's watermelon, berries, grapes, or kiwis — or all of the above. Because you can mix the rum right into the dish, it's easy to incorporate the alcohol directly into your next watermelon salad with no fancy equipment or extra steps. 

The result? A dish that tastes complex and nuanced, though it's quite easy to throw together.

Mix light rum into your next watermelon salad

For a dish with "salad" in its name, watermelon salad is more about watermelon than any salad. There isn't actually any lettuce involved, nor any greens other than the herbs of your choosing. So, as long as you have watermelon — and rum — on hand, you can throw the boozy dish together in no time. 

Some watermelon salad recipes call for the addition of feta and mint, while others use different herbs and fruits, like blueberries. You can have fun with your exact ingredients, tailoring your salad to your preferences. However, you'll want to incorporate the rum in a similar manner, meaning that a little alcohol goes a long way and it's better to veer on the lighter side, both in amount and color.

Martha Stewart, for example, recommends adding 2 tablespoons of light rum per 10 cups of watermelon. Light rum is, of course, lighter than dark rum, which means it has a less intense flavor and color. This softer taste means the rum is practically made for the summertime when you can enjoy a light and refreshing watermelon salad beneath the sun. 

Who's ready to lounge poolside, fork and watermelon in hand?