Midori Melon Liqueur....$12.99 / 375ml
Midori Melon Liqueur’s quality and delicious taste come from the blending of the juices of premium muskmelons — which are extremely rare in Japan. Grown in only one region of Japan, they are incredibly hard to find. Because of this, they can sell for as much as US $20,000 in their first harvest. In addition to their rarity, both musk melons are cultivated in rich soils to create the tastiest melons. By extracting the essence from two different Japanese melons using two different production methods, a premium melon flavor is born.
Midori Melon Splash
2 parts Midori Melon Liqueur
1 ½ parts Maker’s Mark Bourbon
1 part lemon-lime soda
Splash of lime juice
METHOD: Pour ingredients over ice and stir gently
The Totally Unironic Return of Midori
Roughly four decades ago, a melon-flavored liqueur with an otherworldly, lurid green glow was unleashed upon New York City at disco temple Studio 54. This green Godzilla was Midori.
Previously known in Japan as Hermes Melon Liqueur, parent company Suntory renamed the liqueur for the Japanese word for “green.” It made its U.S. debut at a the launch party of Saturday Night Fever, where the film’s cast and crew quaffed brightly-hued “Japanese Gin & Tonics.”
Although it’s never gone out of stock, Midori went out of style when more “proper” cocktails came into vogue in the early aughts, replaced by classic cocktails and bitter and boozy newcomers. Today, the melon-flavored liqueur is back, showing up in serious cocktails—and not just Midori Sour riffs, either.
Midori’s comeback isn’t an overnight success story: it’s been inching back since 2012, when Suntory tweaked the neon-green liqueur to be less sweet and less artificial. “Suntory wanted to change the taste, adjusting to the modern palate in a more pleasant way,” explains Clement Reid, marketing director at Beam Suntory.
Those changes included reducing the sugar content and switching to natural flavorings (Japanese melon, muskmelon and Yubari melon), which in turn increased “favorable melon aroma/taste.” The new bottling launched globally in 2013—including in the U.S., where, in a nod to the neon green original, Midori Highballs were illuminated with glow stick stirrers at their Tales of the Cocktail debut. - Punch