cantaloupe & lillet sparkler

Eating seasonally is food foreplay. As I slow-roasted my first batch of cherry tomatoes this weekend, I knew it would be the beginning of a tomato orgy. Two days in a row, I gorged on so much panzanella, my stomach ached. Two huge bowls of tomatoes sit on the dining room table, waiting to be canned (tomato jam or marinara sauce, is the dilemma). I know this affair is a short one, considering tomatoes are only in season two months out of twelve.

But the recipe I’m sharing today has nothing to do with tomatoes. I have nothing prolific to say about cantaloupe, or perhaps I had nothing to say until I started looking at it differently. Michael loved eating cubed cantaloupe. The girls follow in his footsteps. As for me, I never get a craving for it. It’s likely due to the fact that buying melons is like going to Vegas. You plunk your money down, hope for the best, and aren’t surprised at the dismal results. I’ve never gambled, even having been to Vegas twice for business, but imagine that’s how it goes.

Virginia’s eyes lit up last week when we found cantaloupes at the farmstand. The girls have both been begging for melon, only to hear me say yet again “sorry sweetie, it’s not in season yet”. One taste of that cantaloupe, though, and she realized her patience was worth every second (okay, maybe I’m projecting what I hope she felt).

The next day I planned lunch as I do most meals. I opened the fridge and surveyed the leftovers first. I found a container with fruit from the previous night’s dinner, a mix of blueberries and cut up cantaloupe. After fishing out the blueberries, I dumped the cantaloupe in a blender, added some simple syrup, a squeeze of lime, and gave it all a whirl until it was pureed. You need lots of ice to serve this, so plan accordingly. The girls loved it, and Virginia tried to make a case for adding a splash of Lillet to her glass, but lost that battle.

Cantaloupe & Lillet Cooler | www.injennieskitchen.com

Cantaloupe & Lillet Sparkler

Makes about one quart

While this is called a Cantaloupe & Lillet Sparkler, you can easily leave out the Lillet for a non-alcoholic refresher. Another option is swapping gin or vodka for Lillet.

Music Pairing: Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads

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1 1/2 cups (215 grams) chopped cantaloupe

1/4 cup simple syrup

Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 a lime

1 1/2 cups sparking water or seltzer

Lots of ice

Lillet, to top off

Lime wedges, to garnish

Add the cantaloupe and syrup to a blender. Puree until very smooth. Stir in the lime juice and sparkling water. Fill glasses with a lot of ice, preferably crushed. Pour the cooler over the ice, leaving room to top off with some Lillet. Garnish with lime wedges.

Some more summer sippin’ inspiration from friends at Food Network celebrating this week’s Summer Soiree:
Feed Me Phoebe: Grilled Strawberry-Mint Bellinis
The Lemon Bowl: Raspberry-Ginger Bellini
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: White Peach Sangria
The Heritage Cook: Refreshing Lime Coolers
The Cultural Dish: Pimm’s Cup
Virtually Homemade: Frozen Lime Margaritas with a Sangria Swirl
Weelicious: Strawberry Lemonade
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Strawberry Gimlets with Homemade Strawberry Vodka
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Cucumber and Sage Cocktail
Red or Green: Frozen Tri-Melon Cocktail
Dishing With Divya: Caipirinha
Poet in the Pantry: Pirate’s Booty Call
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Watermelon Malibu Surf
Sweet Life Bake: Boozy Affogato
Devour: 5 Boozy Summer Coolers
Domesticate Me: Blueberry Mojito Royale
Haute Apple Pie: Classic Mojito
Daily*Dishin: Blackberry Rum Shrub
Taste With The Eyes: Korean Soju Kimbap Bloody Mary
FN Dish: Sip Your Way Through Summer (Recipes)

Comments

  • Liz: I’ve been buying cantaloupe recently – Northwest Tuscan cantaloupe is currently here in my NW Montana market.

    I cannot cut up a cantaloupe without thinking of my father who liked to put chocolate ice cream on a wedge.

    I tend to cube mine but this year I’ve been making a mix of cantaloupe,red rapsberries and lime … blitzed with a lot of water and a very light simple syrup (I use 1/4 cup sugar to 1 cup water) to make a kind of aqua fresca. I use 1/2 the mix topped with 1/2 carbonated water (my own well water carbonated!). It reminds me of a very light, not too sweet Hawaiian Punch.

    At any rate – I wholeheartedly agree that cantaloupe makes a great and refreshing drink!

  • DamselflyDiary: Oh Jennie, your comment about picking melons being like gambling in Vegas made me laugh. I had a similar discussion with a friend earlier this week.

    I LOVE watermelon but HATE buying them. I seem to always get stuck with the bad ones. I bought one two weeks ago that was so sour and tasteless that I dumped the whole thing in the trash. What a waste of food and money!

    I think they pick fruit too early these days hoping it will ripen, but it never really does. It just rots. Even bananas sometimes come so green that they never ripen.

    Oh well, I am rambling . . . thanks for the laugh and the confirmation!

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  • Rocky Mountain Woman: Looks perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon! BTW, I love that music pairing…

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  • Clare: I just picked a bunch of cantaloupe from my garden – I need to make this!!!!

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