Time-saver tip: Substitute 1 (11-oz.) can mandarin orange segments for the fresh orange.
1 (750-milliliter) bottle Champagne or sparkling wine
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split*
1 (1-oz.) package fresh mint, chopped
1 cantaloupe, halved
1 pt. fresh raspberries
1 large orange, peeled and sectioned
1/2 honeydew melon, peeled and chopped (about 4 cups)
Garnishes: chopped fresh mint, vanilla bean pod
How to Make It
Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a 3-qt. saucepan over high heat; boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved (about 4 to 5 minutes). Reduce heat to medium, and cook 10 minutes or until mixture is reduced by half. Remove from heat, and stir in mint. Let stand 5 minutes.
Pour mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, discarding mint. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into bowl; whisk until blended. Reserve vanilla bean pod for garnish.
Cut 1 cantaloupe half into 10 thin wedges. Cut 2 thin wedges from remaining half of cantaloupe; reserve remaining cantaloupe for another use. Place cantaloupe, raspberries, orange sections, and honeydew in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish; pour warm syrup over fruit. Cover and chill 3 to 24 hours. Remove fruit from syrup using a slotted spoon. Arrange on a serving platter. Serve syrup with fruit. Garnish, if desired.
*1 Tbsp. vanilla extract may be substituted. Stir in with mint.
Note: Be sure to scrub cantaloupe rind with a vegetable brush before cutting into wedges.
Made this for a progressive Christmas dinner. It was a big hit. Very easy and several asked for the recipe. I cut the melon into chunks and used regular vanilla rather than a bean. The flavor is wonderful.
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