Cantaloupe cocktails: To foam or not to foam? | Bleader

Cantaloupe cocktails: To foam or not to foam?

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Cantaloupe cocktail #1: extra foam edition
Last week I bought a cantaloupe and promptly forgot about it until several days later, when the ripeness that had made me choose it in the first place was threatening to approach rotten. Fortunately I had a friend coming over for drinks that evening, so I turned to the internet for cocktail recipes involving cantaloupe. I eliminated ones that called for cantaloupe juice because juicing sounded like a lot of work, and one for a cantaloupe margarita that seemed to use way too much lime juice (it didn't have very good reviews either).

I ended up making something loosely based on a recipe I found called, simply, "Cantaloupe Cocktail": fresh cantaloupe, mint, ginger, lime juice, and gin. Except my friend doesn't like gin, so I used pisco, and instead of fresh ginger, I used ginger liqueur (I didn't want to strain the cocktail, and wasn't sure my blender could break down all the fibers of fresh ginger). The approximate recipe, which makes two cocktails:

3 oz pisco
1 oz lemon juice
2 oz ginger liqueur
half a cantaloupe
about 10 large mint leaves

After cutting the cantaloupe into chunks, I blended it with the other ingredients, adding ice once it was well blended. The flavor was good, but the drink quickly separated out, leaving liquid on the bottom and a sort of half-solid foam on the top that can only be described as aggressive. I didn't mind the foam at first, but there was a lot of it—about three quarters of the glass seemed to be filled with it. The substance was more solid than liquid, made of finely blended cantaloupe and ice, with a fair amount of air trapped in it. And it made drinking the cocktail awkward. We soldiered through, too distracted by the food and conversation to do anything about the slightly difficult cocktails besides attempt to drink them. But a couple days later, I decided to try again.

This time I knew I'd have to strain the cocktail, but I had no idea how insidious the foam would be. I blended two slices of cantaloupe with several ounces of water, a spring of mint (probably about ten leaves), and a little fresh ginger (several quarter-sized slices). Then I strained it into a cocktail shaker. Some of the foam stayed behind with the larger solids, but quite a bit of it came through. I strained it again, with the same result. There seemed to be no end to the foam. I added tequila (1.5 ounces), orange liqueur (.75 ounces), and lime juice (.5 ounces) to the shaker, along with ice, shook up the mixture, and strained it into a glass. Sure enough, there was still foam in it.

Cantaloupe cocktail, round two
This time, though, when I tried the drink, the foam was gentle rather than aggressive; it added a little texture but didn't make the cocktail difficult to drink. I liked the flavor better too: the extra mint balanced the cantaloupe (though it did give the drink a slightly off-putting green tint), and the fresh ginger added a little spiciness. The downside, though, was that the thing was kind of a pain to make. I realized after googling "cantaloupe foam," however, that I'd been going about it all wrong. I should have just been eating the foam with a spoon the whole time. At least I know for next time.

Julia Thiel writes about booze on Thursdays.

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