Watermelon is the official fruit of summer. Perform an internet search for cocktail ideas, however, and you’ll soon be inundated with suggestions for watermelon mint lemonade coolers, blueberry watermelon granitas, and the like. While each of these recipes likely results in a delicious, refreshing drink, when you have adult family members poolside or are partaking in a social-distancing neighborhood block party, the last thing you want to do is stand behind a counter and muddle mint leaves. Instead, we suggest taking the direct route: simply infuse your watermelon with liquor, slice, and serve. The process, known as “corking a watermelon” by some and “hairy buffalo” or “drunken watermelon” by others, results in a refreshing, flavorful treat that doesn’t even require a glass. Just follow these simple steps:
1. Select your watermelon. The average size of a watermelon is about 20 pounds and can be divided into 30 or so 1 ½ inch slices. Depending on the size of your gathering, you may need a larger or smaller melon. In addition, you’ll want a watermelon that’s a bit flat on one side for stability.
2. Select your liquor. Traditionally, a corked watermelon is made with vodka – we suggest a fun, fruity vodka to amp up the refreshing, fruit flavors. However, you’ll have just as much success with any plain or fruit-flavored white rum or tequila blanco. For larger melons, you’ll need a 1.75L bottle; 750mL should be sufficient for average-sized melons.
3. Prep your melon. Place your melon on a table, surrounded by towels to stop it from rolling, if necessary. Using your liquor bottle as a guide, trace a circle on the melon’s top using a permanent marker. Be sure to make the circle slightly larger than the widest part of the bottle’s neck.
4. Cut your hole. Using a sharp knife, cut around the circle you traced. Make certain to cut through the rind and into the top layer of watermelon flesh. Remove the circle and use a spoon to scoop out enough melon so your bottle will fit inside the hole.
5. Place your bottle. Open the bottle of liquor and quickly overturn it into the hole you’ve created in the melon. Push it in far enough so that it will stay securely in this position for several hours. If you find you need to widen your hole slightly with the knife, do so gradually.
6. Infuse your melon. Allow your melon to rest for 4 to 12 hours – the liquor will slowly seep into the watermelon flesh during this time. Depending on the size of your melon and liquor bottle, as well as the overall juiciness of the watermelon you chose, the melon may not absorb all of the liquor. If you have room in the fridge, this is an excellent time to
begin chilling your watermelon.
7. Chill and serve. Once the melon flesh is infused with liquor, remove the bottle and use a paper towel or cork – if you can find one that’s a similar size – to prevent liquor from sloshing out. Chill until cool, slice as normal, and serve.
Payless Liquors has a large selection of flavored vodkas, rums, and tequilas perfect for your next melon corking as well as an extensive beer and wine assortment for your everyday needs. Stop in or complete an online order form to schedule an easy pickup.