Dang, it’s hot.
The weather is supposed to break tonight, but you may not last that long without something tall, cool and refreshing. So, quickly – run to Harris Teeter right now, pick up a watermelon and stick it in the fridge. The HT’s in our area have “personal sized” (meaning it will actually fit in your refrigerator) seedless watermelons grown in SC for $3.99 apiece! Then around 5:00 or so, whip up a batch of tall cool and refreshing watermelon champagne cocktails … recipe below.
No need to break out your finest champagne, but don’t resort to Andre either. Try this with a moderately priced sparkling wine ; First Vine’s “Methode Ancestrale” Brut ($18) for example. “Methode Ancestrale” is a sparkling wine made from 100% Mauzac, the region’s oldest varietal. Mauzac is a grape that can be either fruity, sweet, dry, or spicy depending on vinification, but it has a sort of pear and green apple flavor that comes through. This is the brut version of the “Methode Gaillacoise,” one of our best sellers. It’s dry but not bone-dry, crisp, and fresh.
Watermelon Sparkling Wine Cocktails (Serves 6-8)
5 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, crushed (or a combination of mint and basil leaves)
1/2 cup vodka, chilled
1/4 cup triple sec
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 bottle sparkling wine, chilled
Process watermelon cubes in a blender on high until smooth then strain.
Measure out 2 cups juice, add mint, stir then chill 30 minutes.
Add vodka, triple sec, lime juice and 1 cup ice and stir.
Remove mint leaves.
Fill tall highball glasses with ice and pour 1/3 cup watermelon mixture into each.
Top off with the sparkling wine and gently stir.
Garnish with watermelon cubes and lime slices.