Ouzo has few fans because the liqueur can be overpowering. But it’s a whole different animal in this drink, where it melds with the cantaloupe for an unusual, understated flavor.
What to buy: Ouzo is a clear, slightly sweet, anise-flavored liqueur from Greece, available at Greek markets and some liquor stores. Look for a good-quality ouzo, because it will make or break this cocktail. If you really dislike ouzo, you can make this with your favorite gin, vodka, or white rum.
Game plan: You can make this cocktail up to 2 days in advance. Refrigerate it in an airtight container and stir before serving to make sure everything’s incorporated.
Place the cantaloupe in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a large pitcher and skim off any foam. (You should have about 1 3/4 cups juice.) Add the ouzo, lemon juice, and simple syrup and stir to combine.
To serve, pour the melon mixture into a rocks glass filled with ice. Smack 2 mint leaves per drink in the palm of your hand and place on top.