Unless you’ve been living in a very dark cave for many years, you’re aware that watermelon is one of the most refreshing fruits you can eat. And the bright pink juice is beautiful to boot, no food coloring or weird additives needed. But the rosy fruit isn’t the only melon that’s beautiful, delicious and wonderful in cocktails. Sweet, orange cantaloupe and bright green honeydew juices are also delectable when mixed with booze, especially as the summer heat really starts to hit. These three melon cocktails are super refreshing, extra beautiful and will make you think about the fruit group in a whole new light.
3 Melon Cocktails to Refresh You All Summer
For a city that’s changed as rapidly as Austin, Texas has in the last five years, it’s nice to see classic restaurants going strong. When Jeffrey’s of Austin opened its doors in 1975, they served typical French bistro fare to the Clarksville neighborhood. Even under new ownership, not much has changed at Jeffrey’s, save for some more inventive dishes and cocktails made with a plethora of exotic ingredients. Take the Jeffrey’s Vodka Fizz, for example, a tall bubbly sipper made with local vodka, Chareau Aloe Liqueur and honeydew melon juice. “I really love the sweet flavor of ripe honeydews, and the color looks great, too,” says head bartender Chris Dalaku. We especially love the look of this drink when it’s garnished with bright green melon balls, which are easy to make and delicious for snacking. One sip of this refreshing highball, and anyone who thinks honeydew is simply a “filler fruit” will realize they are terribly mistaken.
honeydew melon juice
It’s worth a trip to Pittsburgh to visit Hidden Harbor, one of our favorite tiki bars in the United States, just to taste their expertly-made tropical libations. But if you can’t make it to the Steel City, learning to master the bar’s signature Gardenia Grog will get you pretty damn close to paradise. “I had been wanting to do a melon tiki cocktail for awhile, and one that uses very soft, complementary floral ingredients with just a backbone of spice and exotic rums,” head bartender Max Stein says. “It’s summery with all of those light flavors but still has exotic base notes from the Grog Mix and the Jamaican and agricole r(h)ums.” Stein plays with deeply aromatic flavors like rosewater, lavender and allspice dram in the Grog Mix, but they all come together in perfect harmony when mixed with the gin and cantaloupe. Garnished with an orchid and mint sprig, this drink is as gorgeous as it is deliciously potent.
Few things have the power of sweet watermelon, with its tender pulp and electric-hued juice, to bring relief on a blazingly hot day. Angela Montesclaros, who is the general manager and runs bar operations at Henry’s Majestic in Dallas, couldn’t agree more. “Watermelon is the perfect summer fruit, as it contains high water content that aids in cocktail dilution and natural sweetness,” she says. “By pairing the Watermelon Swizzle with basil, it gives the cocktail earthy aromatics and helps visualize the colors of a whole watermelon.” Montesclaros combines Plantation 3-Star Rum and Aperol to give this drink a fruity depth that still has the power to keep you cool, even as the mercury rises. Crushed ice makes it extra frosty and gulpable, so be sure to use it for the drink, if possible.