1 cantaloupe, about 2 pounds, peeled and seeded (see Cook's Note)
3/4 cup (6 fl oz) Simple Syrup, recipe follows
1/4 cup (2 fl oz) Campari
2/3 cup (5 oz) organic cane sugar
2/3 cup (5 fl oz) water
Okay, okay. We know we already anointed peaches as the epitome of summer, but melons, those buxom orbs with their waffle-weave shells and floral aroma, are without a doubt another high point. A table stacked tall with gorgeous melons makes us lusty like no other fruit. To prep a cantaloupe for pureeing, cut it around its equator and scoop out and dump the seeds and fibers inside. Set each half on a cutting board, cut side down, and lop 1/2 inch off the top horizontally so that you've cut off a flap approximately the size of a circle made by your thumb and finger. Now get the rest of the rind off by slicing longitudinally, as if you had the northern hemisphere on your cutting board and were cutting the surface off each time zone around the world. Once you're done with both hemispheres, your cantaloupe is ready to puree. Buy only cantaloupes that smell delicious even before cutting, because a scentless cantaloupe is probably a flavorless one. Along with the ideas in this chapter, cantaloupe pairs beautifully with lavender, hyssop, and tequila.
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