Quick Bites from Pender

Sunday Lunch – Vodka Infused Watermelon

In Kitchen Tips, Sunday Lunch on July 11, 2010 at 7:39 pm


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.

  1. Really, if you are going to have watermelon, you should soak it in vodka. It’s the only way to eat it. 🙂

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  3. Oh, I am going to make this one. This is the ultimate in having your cake and eating it too!

  4. Well… I always heard about this trick in college… and now here we are, 15 years later! I love it – glad you had some laughs while “injecting” the melon!

  5. now this is fantastic! I do have fond memories of ‘spodie’ as we lovingly called it but it was far more rudimentary than this beautiful concoction… must try soon! Great job 🙂

  6. Oh yes! Reminds me of when I used to inject my mother’s Christmas cake with brandy using a pipette and knitting needles over two months before big day.

  7. What a neat process, I doubt I would have easily come up with that!

  8. I am cracking up…can just picture the vodka squirting out the other side:) Sounds fun and refreshing…

  9. Oh wow we used to do this for summer concerts. Make the hole just undersized and you can literally screw the bottle into the watermelon. It was great fun. As kids we tended to over participate in eating this recipe all to often. I think its time to break it out as and adult. Cantelope works well too!

  10. I love that you said, “I figured at 40 it’s not good enough to just inject vodka into a watermelon. No, no, no.” It’s my favorite thing! What a great idea, maybe this way husband will eat a watermelon!

    We make a fabulous watermelon salad with basil and ginger, hopefully we will get to posting that soon!

  11. Hi, Theresa. The start of your post was too funny – I am trying to envision you in your grunge phase – with a flannel shirt and dirty ripped jeans, de rigeur – at a Pearl Jam concert. Lollapalooza, indeed….


    • Dan, you’re bang on! And they were my Dad’s old jeans! If I danced now like I used to in those mosh pits, I’d wake up with whiplash. Too funny…

      • I know exactly what you mean…did the Dad’s jeans thing, too. Skinned an ankle or two in the pits as well. Food is much safer, to a degree.

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