Kick-start your farmers market feast with a potent, fresh-fruit cocktail in the form of a watermelon-rum mash. Cubes of melon are pureed and mixed with mint and rum. The final concoction is refreshing and conversation enhancing. When you sit down for dinner, pour a crisp, green white like a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or Spanish Verdejo. Pair an effervescent dessert wine, such as this Moscato, with the strawberry ricotta shortbread. To look at the cocktail recipe, please

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Watermelon Rum Mash

Watermelon Rum Mash

Ingredients

6 fresh shiso (or mint) leaves, plus 8 additional sprigs for garnish
12 3/4 cups (2 3/4 quarts) cubed seedless watermelon, pureed and strained (makes 1 1/2 quarts juice)
1 2/3 cups white rum (or to taste)

Directions

  1. Crush shiso in the bottom of a large pitcher, using a long wooden spoon.
  2. Add watermelon juice and rum; stir. Serve over ice; garnish with shiso sprigs.

Serves 8.

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