How do you make sangria, a quintessential summertime cooler, even more summery? Start by switching out red wine for the season's pink darling, rosé. As for fruit, nothing says summer refreshment like dripping-ripe melons. Add cooling mint, and top with a splash of flowery liqueur. Whether you're poolside, picnicking, or porch-rocking, this sangria is pitcher-perfect.

- Rosé is all about refreshment–light and bright, it's a great match for summer fruit. Preferable to reds for summer sangria, rosé delivers grape flavor without heavy tannins.

- Skip the ice cubes. Freeze some of the fruit, and stir in before serving to keep your pitcher of sangria chilled without diluting the flavor.

- Chilled club soda adds refreshing effervescence and stretches your sangria without adding calories. Stir it in right before serving so the fizz doesn't fizzle out.

- Build an additional layer of depth with a flavored liqueur (like St. Germain) or spirit (like brandy) that complements the flavor profile of your drink.

- Fresh seasonal herbs like mint, basil, and lavender add a touch of savory to the fruity brew. For the prettiest presentation, swap out the herbs used to infuse your sangria (they wilt and discolor as they sit) for fresh ones.

Adding flavors to a pricey bottle of rosé masks the nuances you're paying for. With sangria, look for one in the $6 to $15 range from Spain or France.

Credit: Photo: Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Claire Spollen

SUMMER MELON ROSÉ SANGRIAHands-on: 10 min. Total: 8 hr. 10 min.

For a playful presentation, use a melon baller to scoop the fruit into bobbing orbs.

1 (750-milliliter) bottle dry rosé½ cup elderflower liqueur (such as St. Germain)2 mint sprigs, divided1½ cups (1-inch) cubed cantaloupe, divided1½ cups (1-inch) cubed honeydew melon, divided1¼ cups (1-inch) cubed baby seedless watermelon, divided1½ cups chilled club soda

1. Combine rosé, liqueur, 1 mint sprig, and 1 cup each melon in a pitcher. Cover; chill at least 8 hours.

2. Place remaining melon in a single layer in a small baking dish; cover and freeze.

3. Remove mint sprig from pitcher, and discard. Stir remaining mint sprig, frozen melon, and club soda into sangria just before serving.

SERVES 10 (serving size: 1 cup) CALORIES 126; FAT 0.2g (sat 0g, mono 0g, poly 0.1g); PROTEIN 1g; CARB 13g; FIBER 1g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 0mg; SODIUM 17mg; CALC 8mg