All Friends on Deck


Cantaloupe Refresher  

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.