I might as well tell you right away, this isn’t one of those melons that are spiked with a whole bottle of liquor. People sometimes do that so they can have a “drink” in someplace they’re not supposed to, like at a sports event. Or maybe they just want a slightly naughty snack for a party — innocent-looking watermelon labeled “adults only.” Anyway, this is something much less boozy. Unlike watermelon, hami melon doesn’t soak up a lot of liquid. Instead, it’s left with a subtle taste of ginger and orange that complements its sweetness.
The hami is a musk melon popular in Asia. I found them at the corner store, the same one that sells roasted seaweed snacks and Choco-Pies. I’d never tried this melon before, but now was the perfect time. It’s a long melon with a webbed skin like a canteloupe’s and light orange flesh. The flavor is mild and sweet for a melon — keeping that in mind, you can use it in place of other melons in recipes.
The Japanese liqueur Midori is made from the juice of the hami melon. I can’t say whether the ginger ale/Triple Sec/vodka/melon juice mixture in this recipe tastes anything like Midori. For one thing, I’ve never tried the liqueur, and for another, I accidentally knocked over the jar where I was keeping the mixture. Oh well, I rescued enough of it to sprinkle a little on the melon, and some blueberries I served it with. Pretty good.
- 1 large hami melon
- 1 can dark ginger ale
- 1 ounce orange liqueur (or combination of that and vodka)
- Cut off one end of the melon, deep enough to reach the hollow center.
- Scrape out as many of the seeds as you can with a long-handled spoon.
- Pour out the juice inside the melon and save.
- Get out a container the right size to stand the melon in, and put some ice in it.
- Set the melon in the ice.
- Combine the melon juice with the liqueur and the ginger ale. Use a larger container than you think you’ll need — the mixture fizzes a lot.
- When the liquid stops foaming, pour it into the melon.
- To be on the safe side, don’t replace the end you cut off.
- Refrigerate 24 hours.
- Pour out liquid that’s left, slice and serve (or use in salad).
- Sprinkle with a little of the liquid.