I was greeted in the kitchen by a giant honeydew sitting on the counter emitting an deliciously sweet aroma, which immediately made me think, we need to eat/ drink this now! I took to the challenge and in my own cocktail quickfire, I reached for the glowing green bottle of Midori on the bar.
Typically I use Midori, a melon flavored liqueur, for all sorts of fun Halloween drinks. But, today I was craving a classic, the Melon Ball. This vodka and Midori cocktail is traditionally made with orange juice but depending on your preference you can substitute pineapple or grapefruit for the OJ in this recipe.
Now let's put a kitchen gadget into play. If you have one in your drawer this is the time put your melon baller to its proper use. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper and fill with a single layer of melon balls. If you don't have a melon baller you can simply cube the ripe honeydew instead. Place the sheet pan in the freezer until the balls (or cubes) are completely frozen for tasty fruit ice cubes that are perfect for keeping this cocktail cool.
If you're short on time or just prefer plain ice cubes, go ahead and garnish this drink with skewered melon balls or just drop a few in the glass. To give this classic a new twist you can add a sprig of mint to your drink. Mint and melon are just one of those flavor combinations that are meant to be together.
Mint or no mint, this drink is the perfect choice for melon lovers. Pair this cocktail with a simple cheese platter and a side of assorted nuts for a very civilized happy hour.
The Melon Ball
2 ounces Midori
1 ounce vodka
Fresh-squeezed orange juice, for topping off
Fresh scooped melon balls, for garnish, optional
In a glass filled with ice, add the Midori and vodka.
Top off with orange juice.
Garnish if desired.
Maureen C. Petrosky writes what she knows, food, booze and parties. Author of The Wine Club, she appears regularly on The TODAY show to share her vices (and advice) with the world. For more info check out www.maureenpetrosky.com or follow her on Twitter @maureenpetrosky
(Images: Maureen Petrosky)