Recipe: The Melopolitan, Direct From Cocktail Shaker Village
When it comes to seasonal cocktails, many of us are already thinking about warming drinks. Then there are those who aren’t quite yet ready to say goodbye to summer cocktails. Count designer/artist Ritch Holben and business consultant Ken De Loreto among the latter. As Ken relates, part of that predilection is due to their relatively new snowbird status; the Southfield couple will soon be winging their way to their winter digs, where lively libations are a way of life.
As De Loreto explains, “Ritch and I have lived for 14 years in the Berkshires, ten of those full-time. For the past four winter ‘seasons’ we have made an annual exodus to Miami. Miami is a party city, where cocktails are inspired and mixologists abound. This Miami provocation gave Ritch and me the impetus for upping our experimentation and even christening our Southfield property as ‘Cocktail Shaker Village,’ where summer evenings are spent creating bespoke, improvisational cocktails for friends.”
When melon season hit, says De Loreto, “… there was no choice but to consider watermelon as a key ingredient. After all, you can only eat so much watermelon. Why not drink it? That idea bumped up against the fond memory of the ‘Sex and The City’ girls to result in the ‘Melopolitan.’ While I’m usually a classic martini drinker (and a lover of a ‘La Coloniale’; Hendricks gin shaken and served up with Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur in place of the traditional vermouth) the ‘Melopolitan’ makes for a colorful cocktail option.”
We suggest you do a bit of advance preparation to have your watermelon juice and cubes at the ready so that the cocktail will come together quickly, with minimal mess.
The Melopolitan, a Cocktail Shaker Village concoction
1 large, ripe watermelon – preferably local – cubed and seeded
Blend and strain half the watermelon cubes to make watermelon juice.
Cut the other half into ice-cube size pieces and place them into ice trays; wrap the trays with plastic wrap to keep the watermelon cubes from absorbing the odor of your freezer contents and to prevent sticking.
To prepare the cocktail:
2 parts watermelon juice
1 part vodka (we prefer Tito’s)
Juice of one lime (use one half to one full lime per drink, depending on your taste)
Dash of Orange Bitters (you can buy this or make your own)
Pour liquid ingredients into a shaker and shake with ice. Serve with frozen watermelon cubes and a lime garnish.
This recipe travels beautifully; you can make pitchers ahead of time to bring to friends.
De Loreto has this final suggestion: “If you want a spicy bottom note (and who doesn’t like a spicy bottom note?), add a few slices of fresh jalapeno to the shaker.”