© Carey Jones
Carey Jones and John D. McCarthy
Updated August 31, 2015

If there's one liqueur that's least likely to find its way into the craft cocktail world, it's Midori. Neon-green, super-sweet, and only vaguely tasting like what it's supposed to—melon—it's not a likely candidate for any high-end cocktail spot's back bar.

But we love the challenge of making great cocktails from slightly suspect ingredients (Exhibit A, exhibit B).

Two ground rules for working with Midori:

1. It's so sweet that you'll need to balance accordingly.
2. Midori's not contributing much melon flavor on its own, so you’ll likely need to amp it up with actual honeydew juice.

Here’s a quick blender version of honeydew juice: Cut open one melon, scoop out and discard the seeds, cut the flesh into medium-sized chunks and toss them into a blender. Blend until smooth (the melon should contain enough moisture that it'll liquify on its own, without water), then strain through a fine-mesh strainer.

Easy: Honeydew Collins

Midori lends itself well to refreshing drinks, like this summer cooler with fresh honeydew juice and a good pour of white rum to stiffen it up.

Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 1 1/2 ounces white rum, 3/4 ounce Midori, 3/4 ounce fresh honeydew juice, and a 1/4 ounce of lime juice. Shake that all up and strain into a tall glass with fresh ice. Add 1/2 an ounce of club soda. Garnish with an orange slice and a melon ball.

Intermediate: Midori & Rye

Take the fruity sweetness of Midori, balance it with the spice and weight of 100-proof rye, and you've got a solid cocktail. Lemon juice brightens the whole thing up.

Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 2 ounces high-proof rye (we're using Knob Creek), an ounce of fresh lemon juice, 3/4 ounce Midori, and 1/2 an ounce of simple syrup. Shake that all up and strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a honeydew spear.

Advanced: Melon Ball

This much-maligned cocktail gets a lot better with the addition of fresh honeydew juice, a little lemon and some pineapple juice to kick up the acidity. These would be hard to turn down at a brunch party.

Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 3/4 ounce vodka, 3/4 ounce Midori, 3/4 ounce fresh honeydew juice, 1/2 an ounce of pineapple juice, and 1/4 ounce of lemon juice. Shake that all up and strain into a coupe. Garnish with a cherry and a melon ball.

Related: 3 Perfect Frozen Margaritas for a Hot Day 
There's No Such Thing as a Girly Drink 
3 Cocktails to Make with St-Germain

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