The Summer Melon You Should Be Adding To Cocktails

When it comes to mixing up a fruity summer cocktail, watermelon might be the icon, but its melon cousins are the moment (per Chilled). Abundantly juicy and filled with satisfying seasonal flavors, melons pair perfectly with many mixers and pull double-duty by offering a refreshing and visually enticing frosty beverage. Making a delicious summer cocktail isn't difficult; Just follow a few easy tips and use your melon.

Melon lovers count the days until their favorite fruit is back in season, and picking a ripe melon is the first step in your journey to a tasty summer cocktail. While choosing a ripe honeydew is a bit more challenging, generally, melons should have an unblemished rind, a hefty weight, and a sweet aroma that hints at the goodness inside. Cantaloupes should be stemless and sans green coloration at the bottom and top.

Before you blend or muddle your melon into a cooling cocktail, take a moment to prep garnishes. Whether it's all around the rim or just a pinch, salt can enhance the sweet melon flavor of your choice. Most melon seeds are edible and can be roasted and salted for a garnish with a textural kick — and don't forget the classic melon ball that can be skewered and used as an edible stir stick or frozen for flavorful ice cubes (per The Spruce Eats). 

All that's left is the melon and the mixers.

Cantaloupe and Honeydew share centerstage

Peaches and watermelons are consummate seasonal cocktail darlings, but cantaloupe and honeydew are ready to steal the show with their refreshingly unique flavors. The Spruce Eats suggests mixing these melons with clear spirits, simple syrups, or flavored sparkling water to create a cool drink for a hot day.

Cantaloupe is an ideal headliner in a seasonal cocktail for its summer sunset color and sweet flavor profile that Chilled compares to stone fruits, like peaches. This melon has an intensely sweet and rich taste that can stand up to savory flavors and piquant liquors like mezcal. Cantaloupe combined with champagne or sparkling wine tickles the tastebuds, and its sweet taste also plays well with vodka or dry gin, like in this Cantaloupe Cooler.

Don't overlook the honeydew melon when considering a cocktail to cool the masses on a hot summer day. This melon is milder than its orange counterpart and has a delicate flavor reminiscent of sweet cucumber. It pairs with gentle gins or white rum and benefits from a citrus squeeze. Mix in a little simple syrup or agave nectar for added sweetness. 

Summer cocktails can't get any cooler with these seasonal melons in the mix.