January 15th marks the celebration of one of Chile’s most popular summer drinks: melon con vino, or melon with wine.
Given the affectionate shorthand “Melvin,” melon con vino is a honeydew melon which has been hollowed out and filled with cool white wine mixed with some powdered sugar. This sticky-sweet concoction is a godsend in the sweltering Chilean summer, and is usually shared by a group of friends or family while at summer barbecues, picnics, and festivities, hence its reputation as a communal drink, similar to sharing a pitcher of beer or a carafe of wine.
Herman Villagran, one of the creators of the celebration and editor of the popular beverage culture magazine Rayuela Corta, sees the event as a chance to spend time with loved ones and celebrate this aspect of Chilean culture and gastronomy.
To celebrate this unofficial holiday – now in its sixth year – here’s the recipe for the classic melon con vino, authentically Chilean and forever delicious.
Please drink responsibly.
- One honeydew melon
- 2 liters of white wine (Sauvignon Blanc is the preferred choice)
- Powdered sugar
- Ice (optional)
- Chill the white wine in advance
- Cut a hole in the top of the melon. Keep the lid.
- Using a spoon, scrape out the insides of the melon to form an empty cavity, being careful not to scrape too hard and cut through the outer rind. Leave some chunks of the fruit inside the melon
- Pour the chilled white wine into the melon until almost at the brim
- Add three spoonfuls of powdered sugar and stir into the wine
- Optional: if wine is not chilled enough, add ice to mixture, or place the melon in the fridge for 15-30 minutes
- Add straws, a group of your favorite people, and enjoy!