It is a memory which speaks volumes about the kind of person I am. It’s no secret how I would answer the proverbial glass-half-full or glass-half-empty question. As far as I’m concerned, the glass is always half-empty. The unpleasantness of life far outweighs the few reliable pleasures it offers up. But don’t judge me, there are whole populations of peace-loving, wise, generous, and compassionate Buddhists who would agree. It is a religion whose practitioners hold fast to the notion that life is full of unpleasantness. The presence of suffering is the first tenet, and the very bedrock of a hugely popular belief system.
But suffering, like necessity, is the mother of invention. As a species we push with ever increasing desperation toward the fulcrum of a life without discomfort. We employ all of our faculties in order to tip the balance of a life burdened with trifles, to a life elevated with pleasure. Thanks to the sourness and the bitterness of our lives, we may experience the sweetness as well. Think of a pendulum constantly in motion, the ebb and flow of ceaseless tides. Think of disturbing memories assuaged by the knowledge of tomorrow’s gifts. Thanks to Humanity’s endless toil and constant dissatisfaction, we can take an airplane out of Philadelphia and touch down in Oakland a mere four hours later. We can experience the sensation of being mid-air over New York City in the dead of night while silently looking down upon her hallowed streets illuminated like some twinkling chandelier. In smaller ways, we experience Man’s affluence every day. We can eat bananas in December. We can drink ice-water in August. We can enjoy eating a watermelon without seeds…
Wolff’s is currently bringing in many varieties of seedless watermelons from the surrounding area. We have sweet seedless Orange Watermelon from Danny King out of Oxford, PA. Also out of Oxford, we have the ever-popular Sugar Baby variety from farmer Sam Stoltzfus. We even have unbelievably delicious Yellow Watermelons from Rising Sun, Maryland. Or, if you prefer a melon with a more traditional look, we have plain sweet seedless watermelons also from Oxford. Due to a dry, warm August, every one of these melons is sweet, juicy, flavorful, and will not disappoint.
Personally, I have tried all of them and can vouch for their quality. I’ve had them diced for snacking, blended up in Gazpacho, and tossed with field greens. I’ve also clarified their juice and shaken it with vodka for an absolutely blissful martini. This last method, thus far, has been my favorite way to enjoy this quintessential summer fruit.
Great melons, like summer, will only be here for a little while. Like so many impermanent things, the pleasure these melons provide is forged in the very crucible of their absence. They are, indeed, one of life’s rare pleasures. Don’t wait for tomorrow…time is not your friend.
Even now the glass is growing empty.
Makes 1 generous martini
1.Chill two martini glasses, Vodka, and dry vermouth in the freezer.
3.While the watermelon puree is separating, prepare the simple syrup. To make the simple syrup, place 1 cup each of water and sugar into a pan
5.When you are ready to mix the cocktail, combine Vodka, watermelon juice, simple syrup, and egg white in a cocktail shaker. Shake rapidly for 1 minute. Remove glass from the freezer, pour in 1 tsp. Vermouth, swirl it around the glass, and then dump out whatever remains. Line the glass with sugar (here you can use superfine sugar if you have it). Add ice to your cocktail shaker (This part is a little messy and can be done in the sink). Shake for another twenty seconds, then strain into prepared glass.
6.Repeat procedure for further drinks. Enjoy.
- 2 oz. Watermelon juice
- 1 oz. Simple Syrup
- 2 oz. Vodka (any mid-tier brand will suffice)
- 1 tsp. Dry Vermouth
- ⅓ egg white
- Sugar (for lining rim of glass)
- Chill two martini glasses, Vodka, and dry vermouth in the freezer.
- To prepare the clarified watermelon juice, begin by dicing the watermelon into manageable pieces that will fit into the mouth of a blender. Blend. Pour melon puree into a glass pitcher and leave in the refrigerator up to 2 hours. Spoon off mealy froth and discard, then pour the balance of the remaining juice through a fine strainer. Reserve.
- While the watermelon puree is separating, prepare the simple syrup. To make the simple syrup, place 1 cup each of water and sugar into a pan and bring to a boil and all sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool before placing in the refrigerator.
- Separate the yolk and white of 1 egg. Draw out ⅓ of the white
- When you are ready to mix the cocktail, combine Vodka, watermelon juice, simple syrup, and egg white in a cocktail shaker. Shake rapidly for 1 minute. Remove glass from the freezer, pour in the Vermouth, swirl it around the glass, and then dump out whatever remains. Line the glass with sugar (here you can use superfine sugar if you have it). Add ice to your cocktail shaker (This part is a little messy and can be done in the sink). Shake for another twenty seconds, then strain into prepared glass.
- Repeat procedure for further drinks. Enjoy.