Vegan Meloncello for the Homies
While I’m not a vegan, I can appreciate vegan recipes—especially when they are the better version of a classic non-vegan dish or beverage. I did not set out to make the ideal vegan summer beverage, but since my sisters do not consume animal products I thought I’d make something yummy for them. I had cut enough melon and had plenty of organic vodka to make two different versions (one regular, and one vegan). I brought the two options to the restaurant where I work and after many shots, the masses all decided that the vegan version was far superior. No one was complaining at work that day.
I had searched the web for vegan versions of my favorite Italian liqueur and simply could not find recommendations for dairy substitutes. After one (unheard of!) trial and error, I found success and share it with you now. May your summer be sweet and full of boozy, creamy, melon perfection.
1 extra ripe cantaloupe
1 bottle of 40 proof organic vodka
1 cup Turbinado cane sugar
Half a can of organic unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup of organic almond milk
The best way to cut a melon is by cutting it in half, scooping out the seeds, and placing each half flesh side down. Start trimming all of the skin off with a knife, getting all of the hard flesh and the green fleshy layer off. Then chop the melon into medium-large pieces.
Fill up your mason jar with melon and cover it with the vodka
Leave the jar in a cool, dark spot, usually a cupboard or pantry will do. Make sure to shake the jar once a day to ensure the melon gets coated with the vodka. DO NOT OPEN THE JAR. Shaking will do. Don’t worry if some of the melon isn’t fully covered, as long as you shake and coat the melon with alcohol, it will preserve the fruit.
Wait a minimum of 7 days but go as a long as 30 days to improve flavor.
- Now that your patience has been tested (and you’ve passed—congrats!), blend all of the vodka and cantaloupe in a blender. Leave it blending until it looks completely emulsified and there are no chunks or flakes.
With a chinois (fine mesh sieve), strain the contents into a bowl and set aside.
In a sauce pot, combine almond and coconut milks with the sugar. Over medium heat, dissolve all the sugar, creating a syrup.
Cool down the syrup in your fridge and once completely cool, whisk into your melon-vodka.
It should be a pale orange color, boozy, still a little sweet and creamy from the fat in the coconut milk.
Blast that air conditioning, turn on some groovy music, shake up your freshly made meloncello with ice and serve chilled in a rocks or shot glass.