Spike It: Boozy Minted Melon Balls for Your Next Summer Party

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Melon balls were the quintessential summer party food when I was growing up. Heck, they were even the quintessential summer snack food. I loved that we could grab watermelon and cantaloupe wedges from the fridge if we wanted, but when we got to snack on the melon balls? It just felt more fun — more fancy. And, they tasted fantastic under the hot sun.

My mom didn’t do anything fancy to the melon balls. She simply scooped them out and tossed them in a bowl, sometimes with pineapple chunks or even strawberries. It wasn’t until I was out of college that I had my first melon ball “salad,” if you will: melon with fresh mint and even a bit of dressing. It was incredibly refreshing and has been a staple for me ever since.

Don’t even give me your melon balls unless they have a touch of fresh mint! And honey, lime juice and rum.

It’s almost like a mojito splash covering your melon balls. Dreamy, right? The adult version of melon balls is what we all should want on our BBQ tables this season.

You can use whatever fruit you like: Add in some honeydew, maybe even some papaya. You’ll whisk together your melon marinade and pour it over the scoops — and I really love to do this in a baking dish or sheet pan. This way, each melon ball gets a little drunk and you don’t have to repeatedly toss the mixture. I also find that it keeps the melon balls fresher; they don’t get as mealy or mushy, because they aren’t sitting on top of each other.

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You can make it the night before if needed, but my personal preference is to make it the morning of a party, maybe just two or three hours beforehand. It’s enough time for the melon to soak up some rum and for there to be one rotation of the melon scoops, so every bite is deliciously boozy and refreshing.

When it comes time to serve, feel free to add the scoop to a large bowl with extra mint. Or you can serve in little single-serving cups with a few scoops in each and a drizzle of the lime-rum mixture over the top.

I can taste it already! Summer just got 400 percent better, lighter, fresher and more fun.

Boozy Minted Melon Balls

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 cups watermelon balls

2 cups cantaloupe balls

1/3 cup fresh lime juice

1/3 cup white rum

3 tablespoons honey

A handful of fresh mint, plus extra for serving

Pinch of salt

Directions:

Place the melon balls (or your desired fruit) in a baking dish in a single layer. In a bowl, whisk together the lime juice, rum and honey until combined. Pour it over the melon balls and toss to coat. Add the fresh mint leaves. Let sit for 2 to 3 hours in the fridge, flipping the balls once or twice if desired.

To serve, add the melon balls to a large bowl and pour the rum juice over the top. Cover with a sprinkling of fresh mint and salt.

Jessica is the voice behind the blog How Sweet Eats. She can be found on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, and she’s on Snapchat at howsweeteats.