All Friends on Deck
The secret to this recipe is using very ripe fruit. (Hint: Look for an orange—not green—hue beneath the webby rind.) Do not use a blender, as it makes the drink’s consistency too thick.
[sidebar]4 medium cantaloupes (3 to 4 pounds
each), seeds removed
4 oz. simple syrup*
1 bunch fresh mint
8 oz. vodka or white wine, like a pinot
grigio or a sweeter riesling (optional)
Using a fork, scrape cantaloupe flesh into a bowl, making sure it is not too chunky. Sweeten with simple syrup, 1 ounce at a time, to taste. Using a muddler or the end of a wooden spoon, smash sweetened cantaloupe mixture with mint leaves, add liquor (if desired), and pour into tall glasses filled halfway with ice. Garnish with mint sprigs. Serves 8.
*To make simple syrup, bring 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water to boil in small saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cool to room temperature.