Okay, I know. It’s fall. This totally screams summer…and totally not fall. Now if this were pumpkin, there would be no problem. But it’s still September. Our weather has been all across the board and yesterday, if you can believe it, it was just shy of 90°F. WHAT?! And today is the same. I love it. I’m going to soak in every last drop of that blazing hot weather. Though, I admit it: I totally caved and turned on my A/C yesterday afternoon. So for the next week or so, I’ll happily be making pumpkin muffins while sipping a Cantaloupe Lime Fizzy Cocktail. And loads and loads of peaches and apples eaten in pairs. And pears! They’re in season too. Oh, my September really IS the best month for produce. Be still my food-loving soul.
So what do you do when it’s nearly 90° and the leaves are turning every shade of the spectrum? You go for a bike ride. I (literally) dusted off my bike and snapped my helmet onto my head, and I was off to enjoy the hot sun on my skin and the beauty before my eyes. Tangent: I also realized how much I had missed exercising outside. I have really been good at getting myself to the gym at least 3-4 times a week, and sometimes if I’m really lucky, 5 or 6. I don’t say that to brag. I’m totally not a gym rat, nor do I look like one. I’m just a dorky, 35-year-old mother of three just trying to stay sane. Exercise and sweating = my sanity. Being outside really enhances the effect, but any exercise helps keep me from slipping toward a slump.
Anyway, as I said, I’m going to soak it all in and enjoy every last warm afternoon in tank tops and flip flops, and the chilly nights and mornings wrapped in my snuggly blanket and favorite sweater. Can it be September all year long? If I ever run for President, that’s going to be my platform. :)
Now, back to the cocktail! We tend to go the fizzy, fruity route when it comes to cocktails. And by “we,” I actually mean, me. My husband will enjoy a glass of anything. (Wink, wink.) But I really enjoy sipping on anything fizzy. If it’s fruity, even better. We go through quite a bit of sparkling water. I’m not a fan of sugary soda, but pass me a cold can or bottle of fizzy water any time, day or night. It just helps me feel more refreshed and I love those tiny bubbles on my tongue. That’s how I roll. And that’s how I like my cocktails too.
The base of this fizzy cocktail is fresh cantaloupe puree. The sweet nectar is perfume-y and the color is simply stunning. It ends up having a very tropical feel with the addition of the fresh lime juice. If you use one of those September melons that’s ripened for the last few months in the hot sun, you won’t need much, if any simple syrup. But I included it as an option in case you need it to help offset any excessive acidity from the lime juice. Think of this as a boozy agua fresca. Blend yourself a pitcher and sip away those last few days of lingering summer heat.
Want more summery fall cocktail inspo? Here are some I’ve had my eye on:
Pumpkin Pie Cider Fizz from Nosh and Nourish
Rosemary Concord Smash from Beard and Bonnet
Spiced Apple Cider Sangria from Kitchen Treaty
Pumpkin Pineapple Cocktail from Cookie + Kate (I’m so intrigued!)
Rosemary Watermelon Cocktail from Life as a Strawberry
Blackberry Thyme Fizz Cocktails from Urban Quarters
- ½ medium cantaloupe, about 4 cups
- 4 ounces simple syrup, to taste (see note)
- 4 ounces fresh lime juice
- 8 ounces vodka
- One 25.3 ounce (750ml) bottle sparkling mineral water, chilled
- Crushed or cubed ice
- Remove seeds and rind from cantaloupe. Puree in a blender until smooth. Chill until ready to use.
- In a pitcher or carafe, combine melon puree, simple syrup, lime juice, and vodka. Add the sparkling water a little at a time so it doesn't overflow. (You may not need all of the sparkling water depending on how sweet and concentrated you want the cocktails to be.) Serve over ice.
*Other varieties of melon and other fruit can be substituted for the cantaloupe. Use about 4 cups diced fruit.
*To make this non-alcoholic, substitute still or sparkling water for the vodka.