My summer melon obsession has hit an all time high! Luckily for me, melons are in-season and abundant. While I’ve always been a fan of using thirst-quenching watermelon in summer cocktails, up until recently I’d never bothered employing other members of the melon family. It’s beyond me why I’ve never used delicious cantaloupe in a cocktail before, but there’s a first time for everything. Because of their natural sweetness, cantaloupes are perfect for cocktails. With cantaloupe, you don’t have to add a bunch of syrups or sugar.
My inspiration for this cocktail came while I was making one of my frequent trips to one of the Seattle farmers markets. I love going to farmers markets for the selection of fresh and seasonal ingredients, so when I saw a stack of beautiful cantaloupes, I grabbed one and decided to try it in a margarita. Not only is the color of the cantaloupe gorgeous, but it pairs well with the salt-rimmed glass of a classic margarita.
To prepare this margarita, I cut the cantaloupe into slices and pureed it in the blender. I prefer my cocktails on the sweeter side, so I added a bit of agave to round out the spiciness of the tequila. However, if you’d rather do without the sugar, feel free to omit the agave nectar. I would serve this cocktail with tacos or a chipotle dip for a fun weeknight meal. The spicy flavors of Mexican food pair excellently with the cantaloupe’s gentle sweetness.
This recipe can be used with other varieties of melons, so be creative and experiment with some awesome seasonal options. Exploring your local farmers market is a great way to find the freshest produce, which ultimately makes the best cocktails. Let’s enjoy summer, explore fun markets, and make great drinks!
Recipe: Cantaloupe Margarita
- ½ Cup Ice
- 2 Ounces Tequila
- 1 Teaspoon Agave nectar
- ½ Cantaloupe, pureed
- 1 Lime, juiced
Lime wedge, to garnish
Fill cocktail shaker with all of the ingredients, shake vigorously and strain into a salt-rimmed serving glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Yield: 1 serving