Watermelon Summer 

During the heat of summer, there is nothing like the taste of refreshing watermelon. And watermelon mixed with your favorite spirit is equally refreshing, but with a kick.

Back in my college days (many moons ago), we simply cork out a hole in a watermelon, poured in a bottle of cheap vodka, recorked the hole and let sit for a few hours or overnight. Next morning, we sliced open the watermelon and enjoyed the fruits of our labor.

Now that I am a tad more sophisticated, at least in my drink choices, I still enjoy fresh watermelon and spirits, but at a much higher quality of concoction.

Here are a couple:

Sparkling Watermelon Punch

>>1 MINI WATERMELON
>> 6 MINT LEAVES
>> 4 OZ VODKA (USE A DECENT ONE)
>> 2 OZ FRESH LIME JUICE
>>1 OZ SIMPLE SYRUP OR AGAVE JUICE
>> SPARKLING WINE CUT THE MINI WATERMELON IN HALF. USE A LARGE SPOON TO SCOOP OUT THE INSIDES AND PUT INTO A BLENDER.

ADD THE MINT LEAVES AND PUREE UNTIL SMOOTH. STRAIN THE PUREE AS BEST AS YOU CAN INTO A SEPARATE CONTAINER.

IN THE CARVED OUT WATERMELON HALVES ADD ICE, VODKA, LIME JUICE AND SIMPLE SYRUP. THEN ADD ABOUT 5 OZ OF THE WATERMELON JUICE. TOP OFF WITH SPARKLING WINE. GARNISH WITH LIME WHEELS AND MINT SPRIGS.

VODKA WATERMELON COCKTAIL PUNCH
>> 8 CUPS OF CHILLED WATERMELON
>> 11.5 OZ COCONUT WATER (SEVERAL BRANDS SELL THIS SIZE)>>
2 OZ FRESH LIME JUICE
>> 1 CUP CITRUS FLAVORED VODKA
IN A BLENDER, COMBINE THE WATERMELON, COCONUT WATER AND FRESH LIME JUICE. BLEND UNTIL SMOOTH. POUR MIXTURE INTO A PITCHER AND ADD THE VODKA. STIR WELL. POUR INTO GLASSES OF ICE. GARNISH WITH A LIME WHEEL OR MINT SPRIG.