afterlight

I love summer. I love heat and long days, beach trips and peaches. I am happier in the summer. Just plain being in the sun all day makes me gleeful.

I am clearly meant for warmer climes, where people can flop down in the grass for a nap any time of year. Unfortunately, distrust of the state of Florida and a desire to stay on the East Coast near family means I will probably never be able to live in a land of Endless Summer.

So, like a child waiting for Santa Claus, I start my watch for summer some time around January 4, when the haze of the Christmas holidays has begun to lift. Then, of course, there’s that period that lasts, at least in the northeast, from March through May– short bursts of warm days arriving intermittently and leaving without warning. Then, in a blink of an eye, it’s the beginning of August and I’m already dreading fall. Now, I watch the passing of days like a prisoner waiting for her sentence: 8 months of dark nights and cold days, wind tunnels, and a bunch of sad root vegetables replacing the bounty of summer peaches, tomatoes, watermelon, and corn.

side view

To be fair, there is a lot to love about the colder months: fall foliage, Thanksgiving, Christmas carols, the first snow (it’s the subsequent snowfalls I really have a problem with). But right now, I’m already planning on stuffing my cheeks as full with summer food and drink while the getting’s good. And no summer drink is more summery than the watermelon bellini. Nearly effortless to make, it combines crisp, refreshing champagne with summer’s most refreshing fruit. And yes, you can buy sad little watermelons imported from other hemispheres even in the darkest days of winter but why bother? Devoid of its deep red ripeness and peak-of-season flavor, I’d rather forgo watermelon all winter and dream about toasting hot summer days with this delicious drink. So I resolve that, for the rest of the summer, I will make sure I give myself as many opportunities as I can to create memories of drinking watermelon bellinis while I still can. Won’t you join me?

me

Watermelon Bellinis

  • 1/2 a large watermelon, cubed
  • A couple bottles of your favorite inexpensive champagne (Don’t waste the good stuff as a mixer!)

1. Process the cubed watermelon until smooth. Place mesh strainer over a large bowll and strain the pureed watermelon. Allow to drain and discard the pulp. Transfer juice to a large jug or bottle.

2. Fill champagne flutes or bowls 1/2 way with the watermelon juice then top with bubbly. Cheers!

Note: Watermelon juice can be made a few days ahead and stored in a sealed bottle or jug in the fridge. Just shake lightly before using.