Last Sunday I stopped by Natchez's Carriage House restaurant to have a kitchen visit, which is always a pleasure for me, and see the ladies in the new pink coats that Chef Bingo had graced them with for jobs well done. Here's a cocktail to match.

    • 1 cup of sugar
    • ½ cup water
    • 1 vanilla bean
    • 2 cups fresh watermelon juice
    • juice of 1 lime
    • 1 bottle of domestic champagne

Split vanilla bean and add sugar and water in a medium sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add watermelon juice and lime and cook for two minutes. Chill before using.

To make champagne cocktail in champagne flute, mix one and a half ounces of watermelon syrup and four ounces of champagne, and add a small lime wedge for garnish.

To read Regina's story about the Carriage House restaurant and the value of being a seasoned cook, click here.