This season kicked off with a bumper crop of strawberries and now our melons just won't quit. From watermelon and honeydew to this year's winner, Boule d' Or, our garden has offered up more than we can eat or share. That's why we've taken our melons to the bar for this week's 10-Minute Happy Hour.
While many of you have already finished harvesting melons, we will be picking and enjoying these sweet beasts until mid-October, barring any killer early frost. You can see from the browning leaves surrounding this Boule d' Or ("Golden Perfection" according to Rare Seeds) that they are ready for fall — even the trees are turning colors. This heirloom melon, in particular, requires a lot of patience, so even if the leaves around it are brown you just need to relax and wait. It may be tempting to harvest them right away, but I've found that the payoff is worth the wait.
Our melons have shown us so much love this year that I was able to make my first batch of homemade melon liqueur. You can certainly substitute a commercially-made melon liqueur like Midori or melon-flavored schnapps in this recipe, but if you'd like to try making your own, give this recipe a try:
→ DIY Melon Liqueur from Serious Eats
The great thing about this happy hour cocktail is that you can just as easily hit up a farmstand for this week's clink if you don't grow your own melons. Grab your coupe glasses or champagne flutes — we're getting a little sparkly to kick off the weekend.
Melon, Mint & Prosecco Cocktail
Serves 4 to 6
12 to 15
melon balls, from a ripe melon
2 to 3 ounces
melon liqueur (see Recipe Note)
sprigs of mint
Add a few melon balls to each glass. Measure 1/2 ounce of liqueur per glass and drizzle it over the melon balls. Top with the chilled Prosecco. Gently squeeze or roll the mint sprigs and add one to each glass for garnish.
I used a homemade melon liqueur in my cocktails, but you can use Midori or melon-flavored Schnapps instead. I suggest using just a splash of these commercial brands since these are much sweeter. Also don't be alarmed at the vibrant green color they will add to your cocktail — it still tastes delicious.