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Come Party With Me: Summer Solstice — Drinks


Besides icy-cold beer and white wine at all of my dinner parties, I like to offer guests one refreshingly potent cocktail. Serving guests a drink right after they've walked through the door gives them something to do, puts them at ease, and sets the party mood. For a solstice dinner, select a cocktail that is quintessentially Summer. Made with chunks of ripe watermelon, fresh lime juice, and white rum, this watermelon cooler is thirst-quenchingly perfect.
To check out the recipe, read more.

Watermelon Cooler

Watermelon Cooler

Watermelon Cooler

Ingredients

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1 cup fresh lime juice
3 cups white rum
4 cups seedless watermelon chunks (one-quarter of a watermelon)
8 cups crushed ice
Watermelon spears and mint sprigs, for garnish

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  2. In a blender, combine half of the sugar syrup with half of the lime juice, rum, and watermelon chunks and blend until combined. Add half of the ice and blend until smooth, then pour into a large pitcher.
  3. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Serve in chilled glasses, garnished with watermelon spears and topped with mint sprigs.

Makes 2 1/2 quarts.

Make ahead: the watermelon mixture can be blended earlier in the day and refrigerated. Blend with ice just before serving.

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