Don’t you just love long weekends? Memorial Day weekend has to be one of the best given it signals the unofficial start of summer. The pool opened, I got the obligatory sunburn, the grills throughout the neighborhood wafted their seductive smoke, the ping of metal baseball bats echoed off of the buildings from the neighboring ball fields, and best of all, neither B nor I made the drive down that boring stretch of interstate. Yes, it is our official first drive-free weekend. You’ll have to forgive me for being a bit quiet here, but you see, I’ve been out exploring my new town with my now permanent-resident husband. We’ve eaten out a lot and there really hasn’t been much to share with you. I promise, that will change. I think my checking account demands so…
Thankfully, I am not yet sporting my first mosquito bite of the season, but I have been bitten by the summer bug. Maybe it was the smell of the coconot tanning oil at the pool (not mine, I’m waaay too much of a white kid to even attempt that) or the scent of sweet corn roasting over a flame at the farmer’s market in town, but I’m off to the races when it comes to summer cooking. The oven has been given permission to slump into hibernation with the purchase of a new charcoal grill (with handy wheels for future tailgating for our hometown teams) and the fridge is filled with white and rosé wines, chilling and waiting to drip beads of water across our countertops.
My thoughts kept turning to the cantelope chilling in the refrigerator. I’ve decided this is the summer of cocktails and I’m prepared to explore as many as are necessary to find the perfect summer beverage. Maybe it was all of the exotic scents from the oils and lotions at the pool, but I kept returning to the thought of a cucumber-melon combination. And it couldn’t have just a name, it had to have the name that evoked thoughts of summer. I’ve been looking at a lot of real estate lately and the large wrap-around porches of a certain neighborhood nearby have been calling out to me. Call it inspiration, call it summer in a glass, I call it a Veranda Cooler.
recipe: jb’s pour house
1/2 c. cubed cantelope and any juices
1 tsp. powdered sugar
2 oz. chilled vodka
2 oz. chilled cucumber liqueur, such as Thatcher’s Cucumber liqueur
Puree cantelope and powdered sugar. Pour cantelope puree, vodka, and cucumber liqueur into a cocktail shaker filled with ice (or a tupperware container in the absence of a proper shaker, a la me). Shake well and pour all contents into a highball glass. Drink, preferably on a patio.
Welcome to summer, friends!
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