I got our first watermelon of the season at Halsey Farm Stand in Water Mill, which doubled its size with a new building and now offers even more of their own seasonal produce. The outer skin of the melon was dark green with yellow, marble-like veining; the inside was firm, juicy and sweet in the perfect hue: somewhere between raspberry pink and salmon red. I used my grandmother’s old mini melon ball scooper to create a bowl full of bright little spheres garnished with a healthy sprig of mint from the garden. The kids were very appreciative but, as it was nearing the end of a long workday, the hubby and I needed something a bit stronger.
My new favorite drink of summer was born in a matter of seconds, inspired by this most excellent of watermelons. I’ve named the cocktail a “melon sunset” for rather boring and obvious reasons (where is Oscar Wilde when you need him?), and here’s why it’s delicious: you have to mash the melon by hand through a strainer or sieve. It’s not as laborious as one might fear — in fact, I found the process rather soothing. The result is a robust, misty (but not filmy)sweet and refreshing liquid the color of a sunset.
I highly suggest Sag Harbor Rum for the kick in this drink, though I might also use LiV vodka for as a less-sweet but delicious alternative. I used only 2 to 3 drops of fresh lime when I made mine, but it’s necessary so don’t skip it. Topped with a fresh raspberry (raspberries are here!) and poured over ice, the melon sunset instantly became my new summer regular.
Melon Sunset Cocktail
5 oz fresh, hand-mashed water melon nectar, strained
1 oz Sag Harbor Rum
2-3 drops juice of fresh lime
1 fresh raspberry for garnish
Pour nectar into glass and chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes. Take out and pour over ice. Add rum, lime juice and raspberry. Stir and serve.