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Watermelon makes me happy. Whether enjoying just sitting on the back deck with a wedge of the cool, pink melon (and yes, when there are seeds, I spit them into the garden) or making a salad of watermelon and feta or whirling some fresh melon into my morning smoothie, watermelon is where it’s at for me.

I especially love it because it’s basically calorie free, there’s no fat and it’s so affordable. I don’t bother buying the already cubed melon sold in stores for a steep price, instead, I buy a whole melon, cube it up and slice some wedges and store in the fridge, so it’s there ready and waiting when I want a healthy snack.

Watermelon is also fantastic in a cool, summer drink and I think Dad would appreciate it, as well (especially when you add vodka). You can make a pitcher of Watermelon Cooler for that Father’s Day picnic or leave out the liquor and serve some for that graduation party. Either way, you’ll love the cool refreshing flavor that only that rosy melon can provide.

klawson@detroitnews.com

KateLawson14@twitter.com

Watermelon Cooler

Recipe adapted from Real Simple

3 pounds watermelon

2 tablespoons fresh mint

1 tablespoon superfine sugar

Ice cubes

1 1/4 cups ginger ale

1/4 cup vodka

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3 or 4 splashes bitters

Fresh mint, for garnish

Puree watermelon in a food processor. Muddle mint with sugar in a large pitcher; fill with ice cubes. Stir in 2 cups puree, ginger ale, vodka, lemon juice, and bitters. Garnish with fresh mint. Serves 8.

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