“I really wanted to create a serve that was easy to replicate at home but also had a sense of fun and a social aspect to it,” says Tim Philips. An award-winning bartender and co-owner of Bulletin Place, Philips is talking about the inspiration behind his ideal drink for summer entertaining.

Philips says fruit-forward spirits that lean light on ABV and sugar are a good starting point. And with a wave of fruit-infused drinks finding popularity in recent times, bartenders are spinning them into some excellent cocktails.

Philips’ new creation is dubbed the High Water. Using Cîroc Summer Watermelon Vodka, it’s an easy three-ingredient cocktail (with optional garnish) that marries the vodka with a fresh chunk of actual watermelon and a dynamic finish of passionfruit kombucha.

“It’s the kind of spirit you want for outdoor occasions, barbeques and early dinner parties,” says Philips. “It’s a luxury brand that’s made to be experimented with and not taken too seriously.” It also works well with the kombucha, which is “really quite tart, with a nice acid line”, according to Philips. “That tartness and slightly fermented character add something interesting without the sugar.”

No need for muddling – just give the ingredients a vigorous pump in a shaker till the fruit is crushed. There’s an optional garnish of thin watermelon slices, frozen in coconut water overnight for a popsicle effect. “The coconut water has a slight salinity and savouriness that’s then soaked into the watermelon,” Philips says. Served in a highball glass, the cocktail is a streamlined version of the sophisticated, seasonal creations that do so well at Bulletin Place.

The High Water also makes for an ideal, user-friendly introduction to infused spirits. In fact, Philips suggests experimenting with the distinctive Cîroc Summer Watermelon Vodka in classic cocktails like a Caprioska (just vodka, lime and fresh sugar) or an Espresso Martini with “a really fruity style of coffee or a cold brew, which has less bitterness and more tropical fruit characteristics”. You can also have it over ice, paired with a small plate of pickles or crudité.

Here’s how to make Tim Philip’s Cîroc High Water at home.

Cîroc High Water
Makes 1 serving. Approx. 0.9 standard drinks.

30ml Cîroc Summer Watermelon Vodka
Watermelon chunks (approx. 30g per drink)
120ml passionfruit kombucha
Coconut water-infused watermelon slice to garnish (optional)

Pour Cîroc Summer Watermelon Vodka and watermelon chunks into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake for 5 seconds until cold and the watermelon is crushed. Strain mix into a chilled highball or stemless wine glass. Add ice cubes and top with passionfruit kombucha.

For the optional garnish, slice some watermelon into long strips and put them in a Tupperware container with a splash of coconut water. Allow them to marinate in the freezer for at least 24 hours.

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Cîroc. Drink responsibly.