Hannah Palmer Egan
Melon-marigold cream cooler
Labor Day has come and gone, but with temps in the 80s or higher for much of this week, I'm gonna go ahead and declare that summer is still very much in play.
That means continuing to enjoy lazy evenings down by the river, or on the deck, soaking in every last second of warm weather … with icy pitchers of cocktails brimming with flowers. I like to eat flowers whenever I can. It makes me feel cosmopolitan and attractive.
Yesterday's beautifying drink du jour made use of fragrant marigold and bee balm (flowers and leaves!), along with overripe melon and a few glugs of Vermont Spirits White Vodka
, which is distilled from whey.
If you don't have the called-for flowers in your garden, you could use any mint you have on hand (apple? pineapple? chocolate? Oh, yes!), plus or minus any other edible herb or flower. I like to keep the leaves and petals in my drink and nibble on them for extra kicks, but if you prefer less roughage, you can drain off the liquid and toss the herbs (and even the fruit) after muddling.
One more thing: Keep in mind that the pitcher is filled with mostly ice, thus the resulting drink isn't super strong. So you can have two, or maybe even three!
Initially, I planned to top off this beverage with a spritz of seltzer, but all I had was cream soda, so I used that instead and it was glorious. It tasted like an herbed lemon Creamsicle. Which is to say, yum.
Long live summer!
Melon-Marigold Cream Cooler
Makes a medium pitcher, or about six drinks
- 8 ounces vodka
- 4 ounces Cointreau
- Two slices cantaloupe, skin removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- Petals from one marigold flower
- Leaves from three small marigold stems
- Petals from two bee balm flowers
- Four bee balm leaves or two small sprigs mint
- Juice of one lemon
- Cream soda
- In a medium pitcher, muddle the liquor, fruit, flowers and herbs
- Add lemon juice and stir well. Fill the pitcher with ice and stir again, then top with cream soda. Mix gently and pour into glasses.
- Garnish with more flowers!