Melons of all sorts are in season and coming in to season. It is nature’s way of telling us to keep hydrated during the hottest months of the year. While this cooler can simply be pureed in a standing blender, there are a few little things that can be done to make it even more appealing.

For example, depending on whether or not the fruit is sweet enough for you, a touch of lime/lemon infused simple syrup along with a slice of lime/lemon makes it even more refreshing. Vodka, rum and various liqueurs make for cocktails that can sneak up on you. The addition of ginger, mint or other fruits such as pineapples and passion fruit complement this fruit very well.

Another little thing to do is to carve some melon balls, freeze them and then plop them into the glass before serving the drink.

There is no specific recipe with a precise list of quantities; make the drinks to suit your taste by adding as a little or as much of what you want.

Cantaloupe Cooler (Photo by Cynthia Nelson)

Here’s how to extract more juice, carve the melon balls, and make the infused syrup.

  1. When the cantaloupe is cut, scoop out the seeds and juice over a bowl fitted with a sieve. There is concentrated juice in the seeds. Use the back of a spoon to stir and press the seeds to extract the juice then discard the seeds.
  2. Carve some melon balls and freeze them to serve with drinks.
  3. To make the lime/lemon infused simple syrup, zest 2 – 3 large limes or lemons and add it a pot with a cup of water and a cup of sugar, place over medium heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes then shut off heat, remove pot from stove and cool to room temperature; strain syrup to remove zest before using.

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