Johnny Horton’s rollicking “Ole Slew Foot” calls for a cocktail that’s similarly fun and light-hearted. It’s safe to assume the titular slew foot — a bear — would enjoy this floral, honey-centric cocktail, but drinkers of all stripes can, too. Swap out the white rum — here, Owney’s is preferred for its grassy flavor, but for a mass-market island white rum, try Clément — for your spirit of choice (though clear liquors work better with the delicate St. Germain and honeydew syrup, which was itself inspired by a cocktail at San Francisco’s Trick Dog).
Entertaining? This cocktail always works just as well as a large-scale punch.
1 1/2 oz island-style white rum (I prefer Owney’s)
1/4 oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur
1 1/2 oz honeydew syrup
1/2 oz lime juice
1 lb honeydew
6 oz honey
6 oz sugar
Cut melon into 1-inch pieces and combine with honey and sugar in a large bowl. Let sit, refrigerated, for two days, during which the honeydew will release juices. After two days, stir the mixture to reincorporate sugar and strain out melon pieces. Store syrup in refrigerator.
Add all ingredients (except seltzer) to shaker — with ice — and shake vigorously until cold. Strain into collins or high-ball glass filled with ice. Top with seltzer water.