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Gumball Machine Melon Cocktail Keg

This whimsical, large-batch cocktail is perfect for summer. The frozen melon balls add a burst of color, in addition to keeping the mix properly chilled.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 30 min (includes freezing time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 24 servings
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Ingredients

2 large honeydew melons, halved and seeded

2 large cantaloupe melons, halved and seeded

1 seedless watermelon, halved

One 750-milliliter bottle vodka, chilled

One 750-milliliter bottle orange liqueur, such as triple sec, chilled

12 cups seltzer, chilled

Directions

Special equipment:
a 3-gallon plastic container with lid; a power drill with a 5/8-inch drill bit; a tap for a keg; a melon baller, a 16-by-10-by-7-inch red plastic bucket (144 ounces), a hot glue gun, a 4-foot red cord, red contact paper, a chalkboard sticker and chalk pen.
  1. Using a melon baller, scoop as many balls as you can from the honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon. Save the scraps for another use. Put the melon balls on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze until solid, about 2 hours. Transfer to a resealable container and keep frozen until ready to use, up to 2 weeks.
  2. Meanwhile, drill a hole in a 3-gallon plastic container, about 2 inches from the bottom, with a power drill fitted with a 5/8-inch drill bit. Snip any ragged pieces of plastic with scissors and securely attach a keg tap. Wash well to remove any plastic bits. 
  3. Invert a 16-by-10-by-7-inch red plastic bucket (144 ounces). Attach the bottom of the keg to the bottom of the bucket with hot glue. Wrap a 4-foot red cord around where the keg and bucket meet to cover the seam; glue it in place. Cover the lid with red contact paper. Apply a chalkboard sticker to the bucket directly below the tap. Use a chalk pen to write 25 cents on the sticker.
  4. When ready to serve, put the melon balls in the keg. Pour in the vodka and orange liqueur. Top with seltzer and stir, then top with the lid.