The other night a watermelon was brought to my table in the backyard of Olmsted, in Brooklyn.

The first thing I noticed was its unusually compact size, slightly smaller than my teenage sonís head. The more unusual thing, though, was the copper spigot sticking out of its midsection. When I turned the spigot, out trickled a stream of cold, pink watermelon punch.

Even before the alcohol ó both aquavit and clairin, the clear, small-batch rum from Haiti, swam around in watermelon juice seasoned by lemongrass and a subliminal amount of fish sauce ó had a chance to work its way to my chafed nerves, I was already glad Iíd left the house.

Jenny Huang for The New York Times

The other night a watermelon was brought to my table in the backyard of Olmsted , in Brooklyn. The first thing I noticed was its unusually compact size, slightly smaller than my teenage sonís head. The more unusual thing, though, was the copper […]

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