Spicy Melon Cocktail

Great cantaloupe flavor and just a touch of spice. [Photograph: Elana Lepkowski]

The Mexican street-cart staple of juicy fruit, lime, and chili powder is transformed into a refreshing cocktail (with just a hint of spice).

Spicy Melon Cocktail

About This Recipe

Yield:1 cocktail plus 1 cup melon infused gin
Active time:10 minutes
Total time:3 days
Special equipment:strainer, cocktail shaker
This recipe appears in: Capture Summer in a Spicy Cantaloupe Cocktail


  • For the Melon-Infused Gin:
  • 1 cup London Dry gin, such as Ford’s
  • 1 cup chopped skinned and seeded cantaloupe (about 1/2 melon)
  • For the Cilantro Simple Syrup:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup finely minced cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • For the Cocktail:
  • 2 ounces Melon-Infused Gin
  • 3/4 ounce Cilantro Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice from 1 lime
  • 1/2 ounce Dolin Blanc vermouth
  • Pinch cayenne pepper, plus more for garnish
  • Melon slice, for garnish


  1. 1

    For the Melon-Infused Gin: Combine gin and cantaloupe in an airtight container; cantaloupe should be completely covered with gin. Let stand at room temperature for 3 days. Strain into a clean bottle. Refrigerate up to 6 months.

  2. 2

    For the Cilantro Simple Syrup: Combine water with sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Add cilantro and let stand for 1 hour. Strain out cilantro. Cool before using. Simple syrup will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

  3. 3

    For the Cocktail: Combine melon-infused gin, cilantro simple syrup, lime, vermouth, and pinch cayenne pepper in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake until well chilled, about 15 seconds.

  4. 4

    Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a melon slice sprinkled with additional cayenne and serve immediately.


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