Make any summer evening (or, well, sure, afternoon) infinitely more festive, without trying too hard at all. This is a good one even after Labor Day, as it instantly brings back that carefree vibe you feel every day in August. You set the tone with the drink you hand your guests when they arrive.
Find a relatively oblong-shaped, seedless watermelon of medium size. Work lengthwise, and slice a tiny bit off the bottom so the guy's bottom will rest flat and he'll stand up straight. Cut off the top (about a third?), scoop out the flesh, puree it, strain it through cheesecloth or a sieve, and refill the watermelon carcass with the juice, plently of vodka, seltzer and fresh lime juice. Serve with a punch ladle over ice in tall glasses and garnish with mint.
Arrange this magical beverage vessel right where everyone can see it.
Even burly fisherman got way into this when I served it in Stonington. After they teased me for dressing like a watermelon.
(Inspired by Martha Stewart Living)