We're delivering (free in Denver Metro!) a beautiful flower arrangement based on the story you're about to – hopefully – read. And then we made a cocktail based on that arrangement. Because, duh, why not? Stick around for the pictures!
One of my absolute favorite things about summer is watermelon (I mean, right?). It's the perfect summer party food. Sliced into wedges, or in a perfect burrata salad with ripe tomatoes. Or in drinks! Then there's the color. The deep green rind, the juicy red flesh, the necessary ring of bright white, the deep black seeds. Visually it's just so arresting. And it's a picnic staple, especially for fourth of July. Who among us doesn't have a memory of a summer night with fireworks and grassy knees and forearms sticky with watermelon juice? And now my mouth is watering.
My grandpa was a great gardener (out of necessity), and there was always lots of fresh watermelon all summer long. When I was a little kid my grandma Tizzy used to make watermelon drinks for us as treats. She always added fresh mint too, so in my mind those two flavors are forever locked together. The adults got versions spiked with the moonshine my family made. We used to try to sneak their drinks, but they were always fiercely protected, with or without the booze. Also, I should tell you here that grandma strictly tended the red roses that lined the fence so there were always a few roses in the house, usually on the kitchen counter where she could enjoy them.
So we made an arrangement with that memory in mind. Beautiful watermelon red roses, hot pink sprays, coral and strawberry godetia and bubblegum hypericum berries. And fresh mint directly from Molly's garden! Yep, just stuck right in the middle of the arrangement. It smells divine, the combination of the roses and the fresh spearmint.
And because I don't often say "no" to a summer party cocktail (I mentioned the moonshine, right?), we made a recipe and made the drink and used the mint from the arrangement, because, again, duh, why not?
The Melon & Mint Fizz!
This recipe is loose and you should consider tweaking to your taste. Depending on how sweet your watermelon is, you may want to add some simple syrup (sugar dissolved fully into water). Also, depending on how juicy your watermelon is, you may have to add a little more water (or a lot of booze!) to spread the juice. This makes a great pitcher drink you can make ahead of time and pull out of the fridge to serve your guests whenever you're ready. There are also like a thousand similar recipes on the internet if you really feel like you need more research, but don't sweat it. It's summer, relax.
- Roughly cube a medium seedless watermelon and a cucumber.
- Add them to a blender with 3/4 cup water, the juice of one lime, and a small handful of mint leaves (but not too many! Too many will add a touch of bitterness). Puree to smooth.
- Strain through a tight mesh colander, and chill. Party tip: this can be made ahead of time and refrigerated overnight!
- When you're ready to serve, add your favorite booze, to your taste. In our experience, both clear and brown liquids do just fine. I'm partial to a touch of rum.
- Here's where you add a touch of simple syrup, if needed. Don't go too sweet; hopefully the watermelon is doing its job and you don't want to mask that.
- Add sparkling water. Fizzzazzzzzzzz!!!
- Two options for serving: for an informal summer party on a really hot day, we just serve over ice in a mason jar (indestructible). But this is also a beautiful, elegant drink served well-chilled in a martini glass. If you go the second route, use less sparkling.
- Now decorate! Garnish with mint sprigs (grab it straight from the Melon& Mint arrangement!) and lime slices or spun rinds.
- Get happy!
Look! There are pictures: