Drunk Melon Balls: The Labor Day Party Must-Have

Although it'll stay hot here through at least the "fall," Labor Day weekend is traditionally the last big pool party and/or barbecuing weekend of the year. And nothing goes better with swimsuits and/or smoked meats than cool, refreshing, healthy fruit. That's been saturated with booze.

Drunk watermelon is a summer tradition (check out our guide to making the best drunk watermelon and not destroying the thing while you transport it), but what about other fruits? Why should they be left out of the party? Especially when they're so ripe and in season and begging to soak up some cheap vodka like an insecure college freshman on bid night?

Here's our suggestion: Make both. Buy some cheap vodka and go to town on that watermelon. But while you're at Spec's, buy some white rum, too -- because we're going to show you how to make drunk melon balls.

Here's what you'll need in your kitchen:

  • melon baller or spoon
  • microplane grater or zester
  • nice big bowl


  • 7 c. melon balls (any melon, or assorted melons)
  • 3 T. sugar
  • 1 c. white (or light) rum
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 T. lime zest

Scoop out little balls of melon from each of your melons (I prefer a blend of honeydew, cantaloupe and temptation melon) until you have 7 cups worth. Put them into your nice big bowl. Dissolve 3 tablespoons of sugar in the white rum and then add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice. Pour the rum over the melon balls and toss lightly to coat.

Zest a lemon and a lime, then sprinkle the melon balls with 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of lime zest. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving. The longer you leave the fruit, the more it will soak up the rum mixture -- so beware. Toss once more before serving and enjoy.

Recipe adapted from

Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Katharine Shilcutt