Featuring cooling cucumber, blissfully sweet cantaloupe, and a simple syrup infused with black pepper, this week’s refreshing vodka cocktail is summer in a glass. Carlene Thomas, our wedding wellness expert, shares the recipe.
I can pinpoint my favorite cocktail experience. It involved a drink with melon and icy vodka. It was a humid summer day in D.C., and every time I took a sip, the aroma of sun-ripened melon completely enveloped me. And maybe the person next to me. In an effort not to recreate but rather to pay homage to that drink, I put a spin on it by adding an extra layer of refreshing flavor with lemon and cucumber. A simple syrup infused with black pepper lends a sweet and spicy kick. For an extra boozy treat, soak the cantaloupe balls in vodka before skewering.
Ingredients (makes 1):
1.5 ounces of vodka
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Several thin strips of cucumber
Melon balls (cantaloupe or honeydew)
1 tablespoon of a simple syrup infused with black pepper
1 basil leaf to garnish
To make black pepper simple syrup: Add equal parts sugar and water to a small saucepan and heat to reduce. Add several grinds of black pepper and cool.
To make cocktail: Add ice to a cocktail shaker. Add vodka, simple syrup, and lemon to the container and shake to chill. Layer strips of cucumber to the sides and bottom of the glass. Create melon balls and skewer, topped with a basil leaf.
Photos and recipe by Carlene Thomas for Limn & Lovely