Good Eats

An End-of-Summer Sipper

By Jed PortmanAugust 24, 2013

What would a summertime cookout be without watermelon? For many Southerners, the fruit is a seasonal staple. And now, as summer begins to fade away, the watermelon is doing the same. Some will continue to grow through the fall in warmer parts of the South, but the bulk will be off farmers’ market tables within the next few weeks.

The folks at Mason’s, in Nashville, Tennessee, know how to make watermelon sing. Between the crabmeat corn dogs, the red-eye poutine, and the blackberry mojito on the restaurant’s bar menu sits the Front Porch, a vodka cocktail ripe with the flavor of juicy melon. Accented with a squeeze of lime, a bit of sugar, and just a touch of carbonation, the drink nods to what Southerners have known for generations: the less you add to fresh watermelon, the better. Raise this cocktail on your own front porch to toast the end of another long, hot summer.

(Photo by Ron Manville)

Front Porch
2 oz. vodka
½ oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice
½ oz. simple syrup

Build over ice in a tall glass, top with watermelon soda, and mix.

Watermelon Soda
Yields 16 oz

1 seedless watermelon, rind removed and diced
¼ cup agave nectar
8 oz. San Pellegrino or club soda

Add diced watermelon and agave nectar to a blender and puree for 20 seconds until smooth. Pour watermelon puree into a 16 oz. mason jar, filling halfway, then add sparkling water and mix.