Sometimes, when it’s really, really hot, a crazy cool-down idea will take shape around here.
Like injecting a watermelon with vodka — circa Lollapalooza ’93 — which is the last (and more age-appropriate) time I considered using a syringe to introduce alcohol into fruit. Back then it was a scheme to get booze past the festival gate checkpoint — a scheme we never got around to actually attempting…
Fast forward 17 years later, to the peak of this week’s heatwave: I bought a syringe and the biggest, ugliest horse needle you’ve ever seen at the pharmacy. Then I went around the corner to the Liquor Store and picked up a bottle of Absolut Pear.
I figured at 40 it’s not good enough to just inject vodka into a watermelon. No, no, no. At this ripe age, a little sophistication is required — sophistication in the form of pear-infused-vodka-infused watermelon — served as little balls. Oooh…la, la.
Howard and I had some fun trying to inject our little 3 lb watermelon. The first squeeze went in fine, but when we moved the needle, the second injection came squirting out of the hole left by the first — seriously. Very 3 Stooges.
Plan B: Use an apple corer to pull a plug out of one end, then invert in a strainer in the fridge overnight to drain. The next morning, use a wooden skewer to poke holes, or “vodka channels”, downward and outward towards the rind, into the length of the flesh exposed by the apple corer.
Using a funnel, pour vodka in the hole to fill. Stabilize the watermelon in a bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours. The vodka will absorb into the flesh and drain into the holes you poked with the skewer. After 2 hours, top up the vodka and return to the fridge. Repeat until the vodka is no longer absorbed.
Drain any vodka remaining in the hole and chill in the fridge until cold. Serve, sliced into wedges or melon balled into, well, balls.