They're the ultimate fruity, colorful thirst-quenchers.

By Claire Sullivan
July 15, 2021
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three melon cooler cocktails
Credit: Linda Xiao

Whether cantaloupe, honeydew, or watermelon, sweet and juicy melon is the fruit of high summer. When the temperatures soar and the humidity is intense, melon is refreshing sliced for a snack, paired with salty cheese and juicy orange for a savory salad, scooped as a sorbet, or blended into a refreshing drink. This latter route is our favorite, and these three mouthwatering drinks are the way we're going to cool down this summer.

Inspired by fruity Mexican aguas frescas, these thirst quenchers are like a dip in the pool on a steamy day. The formula for each of the three recipes is the same: stir up one of our herbal simple syrups, then see what it can do with a little chopped melon, fresh citrus juice, a splash of water, and a handful of ice. Lemonade who? These drinks offer plenty of options; to take any one of these quenchers into the cocktail zone, stir a shot (one ounce) of tequila, gin, or vodka into each serving.

honeydew-lemon-tarragon cooler cocktail
Credit: Linda Xiao

Honeydew-Lemon-Tarragon Cooler

"My favorite of the trio has to be the Honeydew-Lemon-Tarragon Cooler," says assistant food editor Riley Wofford, who developed these recipes. "The mild, fennel-like flavor of the tarragon tastes incredible with the sweet melon, and a splash of floral gin makes it happy-hour-ready."

watermelon-lime-mint cooler cocktail
Credit: Linda Xiao

Watermelon-Lime-Mint Cooler

The most colorful of the three, our Watermelon-Lime-Mint Cooler is made with chopped watermelon, mint syrup, fresh lime juice, and a handful of ice.

cantaloupe-basil-grapefruit cooler cocktail
Credit: Linda Xiao

Cantaloupe-Grapefruit-Basil Cooler

Fans of fragrant cantaloupe will love our Cantaloupe-Grapefruit-Basil Cooler. The simple syrup is flavored with basil and tart grapefruit juice rounds out the drink. Add vodka if you like, for a boozy finish.

Food styling by Riley Wofford; prop styling by Suzie Myers

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