1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup dark rum
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 cups cubed honeydew melon, chilled
3 cups cubed cantaloupe, chilled
1 cup halved fresh figs
8 lime wedges
Freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
Scrape seeds from vanilla bean; discard bean. Place seeds, sugar, 1/2 cup water, and ginger in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook 8 minutes or until sugar dissolves and syrup is slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Strain through a fine sieve into a small bowl set into a large bowl of ice water; let stand 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in rum and lime juice.
Divide melons and figs among 8 glasses; top with syrup. Garnish with lime wedges and pepper.