Sparkling Watermelon Lemonade is my go-to drink to stay cool all summer long and what perfect day to share than none other but National Watermelon Day!!
Refreshing fresh watermelon blended with fresh squeezed lemons, simple syrup to sweeten and topped off with soda water for a touch of fizz. Don't forget to garnish with mini melon balls and fresh mint.
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We are bona-fide watermelon addicts in my house. Especially my younger daughter. She can't get enough. I think if I let her she would eat an entire watermelon in one sitting. And not a tiny one either. A big one that weighs as much as she does.
We spend a lot of time outside during the summer here in Vegas, even in the 100+ heat. Swimming, playing tennis, hiking etc. and we need to stay hydrated. And any kind of lemonade really does hit the spot. Popsicles are a daily treat too during summer.
Another refreshing watermelon drink I make is a version of 'Otai, a Tongan watermelon drink. So good, refreshing and tropical
Ingredients for refreshing watermelon lemonade:
- Watermelons : I usually go for the smaller, seedless watermelons for this recipe. You have the option to strain and the smaller melons tend to be less grainy when blended and don't have to be strained.
- Lemons - you can use either Eureka ( traditional lemons) or meyer lemons. I love meyer lemon lemonade and the slightly sweeter lemons go really well with watermelon.
- Simple syrup - You can either go with sugar and water or make them into a simple syrup. I find with any lemonade recipe that adding in the sugar then water, the sugar doesn't always dissolve since the mixture isn't heated. But when I make a simple syrup - cooked sugar water - then I can sweeten the lemonade to my liking without worrying about any sugar granules left undissolved or having to stir like crazy to dissolve them.
- Sparkling water or soda water - you can use plain or flavored.
- Mint and melon balls - for garnish because fun drinks need a fun garnish.
I happened upon some yellow watermelons at Trader Joe's during the summer so I made both red watermelon lemonade and yellow watermelon lemonade. Depending upon the ripeness of the watermelons, the lemonade will be a little sweeter with the yellow. However they do have a pretty short season.
Let's make watermelon lemonade:
- You first want to cut the green and white part of the rind off the watermelon. The white part of the rind actually has a lot of fiber and is good for you but it doesn't have as much sweetness so it gets removed. I compost the rinds in my garden, but you can also make watermelon rind pickles if you want. They are very tasty.
- The watermelon gets added to a blender with simple syrup ( make a batch of simple syrup ahead of time and keep it chilled in a bottle or jar in your refrigerator.
Speaking of pineapples. I found out yesterday that you can bring home any pineapples you want from Hawaii. Not just the ones that you buy at the airport prepackaged and agriculture inspected and approved already. I am talking about any you get at the farmers markets, grocery stores, farm tours etc. This is such a game changer for me! They will still get inspected at the aiport agricultural inspection stop, so plan on a few extra minutes for that. But for the most part as long as its a fresh clean pineapple, you can bring it home. My next Hawaii trip I will be bringing an empty suitcase, just for those glorious Kauai Sugarloaf pineapples. They are amazing.
When I was making these lemonades my kids were having fun sneaking off with the melon balls I made for garnish. They were mind blown that I could make them and they wanted to have the "fancy toothpicks" to eat them with so they could, well, be fancy. My kids are hilarious.
If you have good luck and can still find yellow watermelon in stores or farmers markets then you are in for a treat! If not, the red is still just as amazing and refreshing and remember to look earlier next year for the yellow.
For the lemon juice for this recipe I used regular lemons. You could substitute Meyer lemons or even do half lemon and half lime. Like I said earlier this recipe really is customizable. Its even good with rum!!
Enjoy this refreshing sparkling watermelon lemonade and have a happy National Watermelon Day!
- 8-10 cups chopped watermelon ( all red, or half yellow, half red and keep the two separated)
- 1 ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup simple syrup (1 cup water, 1 cup organic sugar - simmered until sugar is dissolved, chill completely before use)
- sparkling water
- optional - watermelon balls and fresh mint for garnish
- Using a blender or food processor puree the melon in batches with some of the lemon juice and simple syrup, using even amounts of each ingredient each time. Combine it all together once blended in a large 3 qt pitcher ( Or several large mason jars) and chill at least 3-4 hours.
- When ready to serve, fill large glasses with ice and then halfway with the watermelon lemonade. Top with sparkling water and stir. Serve.
Notes : you can make one batch of red watermelon lemonade with the ingredients above and then a separate batch of the yellow. The yellow watermelon is a shorter season than the red. I have good luck finding the yellow at Trader Joes and Farmers markets.