watermelon lemonade

As will happen from time to time (coughdaily), last week I got to longing for what I consider one of the greatest Cocktails Out There That Is Not a Manhattan, one that goes by the name Porch Swing as is served at Blue Smoke, a delicious mutt of a barbecue joint (Memphis babybacks, Kansas City spareribs, North Carolina slaw and Texas brisket, anyone?) on East 27th Street. The Porch Swing is a also a delicious mutt, with Pimm’s and Hendrick’s Gin and Lemonade and 7-Up and thin slices of cucumber (recipe over here) and omg is it October when mama can have a proper, strong drink yet?

watermelonwatermelon, read to pureelemonsloads of lemonslemons, drainedsetup

But for once, something phenomenal came out of this backyard longing, and that was (when Googling about for the official Porch Swing recipe), the discovery of something a little more gestationally-appropriate, the Watermelon Lemonade from Bubby’s, a pie and chicken noodle soup-style comfort food restaurant in TriBeCa. What brought these two drinks together was some Mix-Off event, where the Porch Swing won first prize in the boozy category and the watermelon lemonade stole my heart in the safe-for-babies zones. It had to be mine. Heck, it was mine long before I had a sip.

squeezing lemon juice

I don’t know about you, but it has been a zillion years since I actually ordered a lemonade anywhere, as you never know what a restaurant thinks counts for “fresh lemon juice” these days and even when I’ve found good ones, they’re so sweet, they make the roof of my mouth ache. But this here watermelon lemonade is a dream-come-true, summer in a clinking glass: low on sweet, high on fresh and so soothing, I was convinced for a second there that I was on a porch swing on a late summer afternoon somewhere breezy with my baby (and not, say, this sofa with the background din of a rattly window air conditioning unit). Ah well, at least for a moment there, I almost forgot those other porch swings I’m missing.

watermelon lemonade

Still looking for July 4th inspiration? We’ve got loads of it right here!

One year ago: Swiss Buttercream
Two years ago: Israeli Salad + Pita Chips

Watermelon Lemonade
Adapted from Bubby’s

Makes enough to fill two glasses with ice cubes; we quadrupled it to fill a pitcher. We already need more.

1/4 cup (2 ounces) fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup (4 ounces) fresh watermelon puree, strained through a coarse strainer to remove seeds
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) simple syrup*
3/4 cup (6 ounces) cold water

Stir it all together and serve over ice. Garnish it with a thin watermelon or lemon wedge, if you’re feeling fancy.

Spritzy variation: I have never met a beverage I didn’t think would taste better bubbly, thus, if you’re looking for a spritzier version of this, swap one-third (1/4 cup) or more of the water with seltzer or sparkling water.

Boozy variation: My husband thinks this would taste even better with a splash of vodka. I am not one to argue.

* Make your own simple syrup: Please. I see it sold in stores and it just boggles my mind. Simmer one part water with one part sugar (I did a cup of each and ended up with more than I needed for a quadruple batch) until sugar has dissolved. Let cool. Or, you can use my speedier method where you simmer one part sugar with half as much water and once it has dissolved, add the second half of the water, cold, which cools the mixture down faster (when you like nothing to slow your pace to the nearest mocktail).

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194 comments on watermelon lemonade

  1. Summer in a glass right here. I have got to try this. Too bad my neck of the woods hasn’t gotten the summer memo yet.. Um rain does not equal summer.

  2. Kate

    I was just watching your segment on Good Day and when I came back for the bean salad recipe you had already put up this great new one! I have been reading your blog forever now and wanted to finally stop by and say hi – I adore your recipes they are always a blast!

  3. I was totally going to post this on my blog. And once the little bugger has popped out, you can add the watermelon juice to some freezer-cold limoncello.

  4. Megan from Seattle

    This looks amazing! It will be perfect for the 4th of July! A cool drink for a hot 90 degree Seattle day! All the recipes I have cooked have been spot on.. thank-you for making my dinner parties an amazing success!

  5. MMM. I tried a watermelon cocktail the other day. The party host referring to it as a “Watermelon Cosmo,” but I don’t think they know what a Cosmo is (although we did drink them out of martini glasses). but watermelon in cocktail form was FANTASTIC and I can’t wait to try this lemonade version .. though a splash of vodka wouldn’t hurt, would it?

  6. Ooooh. I love it when you post something that I have all of the ingredients for. Summer has reached me yet (my side of Boston is completely drenched), but maybe making this drink would bring the sun out! Maybe?? Please?

  7. jwg

    This looks so good but it would put me in a duabetic coma. Can I substitute sweetener and just dissolve it in some cold water? I know it won’t be the same but you gotta do what you gotta do.

  8. you know I am quite the lurker. Decided to de-lurk to say that I made a variation of this as a smoothie to finish off some strawberries and some watermelon on their last leg. No syrup or sweetner, just a splash of orange juice for tang. Froze the rest that I could’nt drink and now it will be dessert tonight!

  9. I love the color on this – it’s pink and cheery, but tart. What could be better? Of course, I am already thinking of mint, vodka, and an upcoming weekend cookout. Hmm.

  10. Andrea

    This sounds so yummy! I also love the glassware in the first picture. Where is it from, if you don’t mind sharing? I’m in the market for some new glasses and pitcher.

  11. So good! I have just rediscovered watermelon this year and I think a drink is the most fantastic way to have it. I made a “smoothie” with watermelon, raspberries and basil. Who would’ve thought basil and watermelon would be so good together?

  12. A.

    I can’t wait to make the spritzy version this weekend. I’m also due with my first baby in October. This is just what I need to make it through a hot summer without my beloved campari and soda!

  13. Amy

    So…theoretically…if one were to make this for, say, an outdoor concert and wanted to bring it in, I don’t know, one of those pitchers with a spout on the bottom with the booze already mixed in…how would one do that? Just add vodka, or replace something with it? Infuse the vodka somehow? And how much vodka would one (hypothetically) add? I’m completely new to cocktail making (besides vodka and cranberry, of course). Thanks. :)

  14. Nicole S.

    I think those ice cubes are actually cubes! They’re beautiful. Maybe that’s because I (shockingly) don’t like watermelon that I’m that easily distracted, though.

  15. terry

    How did you work that out with using your food processor? I tried to make watermelon sorbet and used my food processor to make the puree and it all leaked out the bottom!

    1. deb

      The glasses are our wedding crystal, Iittala, Stella line. And look, they even sell them on Amazon now! (I had to dredge them up from the corners of the earth to find them four years ago, after obsessing over them for two-plus years at a restaurant I like.) I don’t see the pitcher there, but I’m sure someone sells it.

      The ice cubes are from these trays. I wish I didn’t enjoy perfectly cube ice cubes as much as I do, I am sure this doesn’t say good things about me, er, aside from a love of geometry.

      Terry — I did not have any leakage issues. I just make sure the blade stays down, or it un-plugs, so to speak.

  16. I just returned home from my 4th of July grocery shopping, but this is enough to make me go back for an extra watermelon and a cart full of lemons.

  17. MK

    Do my eyes deceive me? Seven recipes/ delightful pictoral recipe reminders since Monday? You spoil us. It is astonishingly muggy here in CT for 70 degree weather and this drink looks simply divine – even sans spiritus :)

  18. Susan

    I’m not crazy about watermelon drinks, but I can imagine pickled watermelon rind sticks to stir a bloody or virgin mary with!

  19. Nan

    I was just headed out to the store and needed to check the computer for a recipe…I accidently clicked on your site – force of habit I guess! But this was no accident, I prefer to think of it as a Tender Mercy because I’ve been wanting this – I just didn’t know it! Thanks so much!!

  20. This sounds perfect for keeping cool over the July 4th holiday. I first heard of this about a year ago. But never got around to trying it. Thank you for reminding me. Come to think of it, I’m feeling quite thirsty.

  21. fyrebelley

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m 9 weeks pregnant and am looking for any and all drink suggestions. This looks delicious!

  22. Thanks for the refreshing yummy. I’ve got a houseful coming on Saturday. Lots of good thingsfor the day. Many repeats from last year. I always write after the fact. I watched your video and you were terrific. If you were not so good, we would never know, becaus……… are ours! Keep up the good works. Nella

  23. This looks amazing! I will have a bunch of lemons and a watermelon left over on Sunday… I’ll have to give this a try! And thanks for the recipe for simple syrup! I was just about to look it up, you saved me the trouble! :)

  24. brooklynite

    this looks absolutely delicious. I’ll be making this all through the summer.

    Questino – could I make the watermelon puree just in my blender?

  25. Ohiogirl

    What’s also really refreshing and amazing – and baby safe – is rosemary lemonade. You make a batch of fresh lemonade (however you like it) then bruise a branch of rosemary and throw it in the lemonade to steep overnight.

    It comes out kind of resiny but bright and really really tasty. You could also use a premade lemonade, but make sure it is not too sweet.

    Happy summer!

  26. Looks to die for, Deb :) Glad to see that you found a satisfying drink for these last few hot summer months! ; I loved your segment, btw! You look great!

  27. Nadia

    Also, watermelon juice, cooled, and with liquid sugar added is sublime on its own, especially when the pulp and bulk are retained in the drink. It’s exactly like having dessert.

  28. Deb,

    I make something very similar but with lime juice and grated ginger. Blitz the watermelon, add the juice of one lime and grate in ginger to taste. You can add some simple syrup or Agave nectar, but it doesn’t need it. I drink this as much as I can all summer, it is great.

  29. Kat

    I make watermelon lemonade every time I buy a watermelon because with only two of us in the house, plain watermelon gets boring. Usually I sweeten mine with some agave nectar, the flavor of which nicely complements the lemony tang. Plus you don’t have to turn on the stove which is always a plus in the summer. I need to make this now!

  30. annie

    I can’t wait to make this lovely drink! The heat has finally found us in Oregon, so this will be a welcome and refreshing treat for the Fourth.

  31. Elizabeth

    So I have followed your blog for a long time and have enjoyed many a recipe ( mac and cheese heaven,best roasted red potatoes ever, and too many more to count).But I must comment. How did you know I have frozen watermelon juice cubes in my freezer ( along with frozen lemon juice cubes – an incident that involved some lemon trees, 100+ fresh picked lemons and a juicer)that i was pondering what to do with. How did you read my mind? Thank you for all of the great recipes!

  32. Lauren (UK)

    I have that exact same enamelled yellow lemon squeezer and it has CHANGED MY LIFE. I didn’t even realise how many lemons I squeezed weekly until I got that bad boy.

    This look delicious and I will try it asap (as if I need another excuse to use the squeezer…)

  33. Lyn

    Oh, I make this with lime instead of lemon and I don’t use the water, I use ice and make it a smoothie, of course with vodka!! hehehe This is a big hit drink!!

  34. OMG, Pimm’s! I never meet anyone who has ever heard of it, never mind consumed anything mixed with it. Thank you!

    Only moments ago my husband asked “what’s the watermelon for?” and now I have a better answer than, “because I know you like watermelon!” He’s a professional mixologist so he will LOVE adding this to his store of drink recipes.

    Happy Fourth!

  35. Looks delicious. We actually make lemonade every so often because, sometimes, I just crave the real thing — lemons, sugar, water, what’s not to like, right? But, I always make raspberry or strawberry lemonade so this will be a nice change of pace.

  36. Jeannie

    This is exactly what I am bringing to a roof party this weekend, will mix it w/some Absolut Citron….. and I may make some of the cheese straws you highlighted a few months ago.
    For me, watermelon means summer!!!!!!!

  37. Do you know what I’m doing right now? That’s right! Sipping some of this delicious lemonade!

    I read your post yesterday and bookmarked it right away. Lucky for me, I had some really sweet watermelon and a few lemons. Now I’m just waiting for my lovely wife to come home from the gym. I asked her to buy me a small bottle of vodka! ;)

  38. Weezie

    Have you had aguas frescas? Make a fruit puree – watermelon, cantaloupe, or honeydew is best – strain and add a smidge of sugar, an equal amount of water, & ice. The most refreshing non-alcoholic drink ever (but a little vodka is excellent!).

  39. This looks amazing! Deb, about how many people does this recipe serve? I’d like to make this for my 4th of July barbecue (with vodka!), but I’m not sure if I need to multiply the recipe.

    1. deb

      The recipe shown would fill about 16 ounces [edited to add this] with a couple ice cubes, so two glasses. We quadrupled it to fill a pitcher, but also because the small watermelon and six lemons we had just happened to make exactly enough for that amount.

  40. I’m just going to say it: I like fresh lemonade, and I love cold watermelon, and your pictures look delicious, but somehow putting watermelon and lemonade together sounds like an idea I’m sort of scared of. I think because of all those gross watermelon jolly ranchers I ate as a child.

  41. Karen

    WOW! This would be great frozen! (Yummie slushies!) Thank you thank you thank you for all of your great recipes and hilarious sense of humor!

    1. deb

      Amy — I would not keep it more than two days. Maybe it’s still good, but there’s something worrisome to me about watermelon puree; I don’t imagine it keeping too long. Then again, our batch doesn’t have a chance of lasting more than two days, thus I will not be able to test this out!

  42. Carrie

    From one pregnant lady to another, watermelon and lemon are both good for keeping down the inevitable swelling of ankles and hands. This is a great recipe to have, thanks!

  43. how fantastic! what a great way to celebrate the fruits of the season. i guess i have never thought to add another kind of fruit to lemonade but it’s brilliant!

  44. Lindsey

    I went to your site to grab the recipe for black-bottomed cupcakes, for a going away party this evening. I got kind of sidetracked by this recipe, however.

    I have been obsessed with this cocktail since July of ’07. I was too lazy to go to the store to get dried figs, but when I read this post- a lightbulb went off.

    Your cocktail fused with the Figa! A touch of fresh brewed earl grey tea + watermelon lemonade + vodka + sprig of mint= magic.

    Not the same substitute for the Figa, but an altogether different kind wonderful perhaps? Thanks!

  45. Amy

    When I was pregnant with my daughter it was summer in Florida. I would buy Newman’s Own lemonade in the morning, and by lunchtime the half gallon was gone. It was my only craving. Now almost 4 years old, Dorothy begs me to make her lemonade. When we get home next week, we’re totally making this

  46. bethh

    Last year a friend and I made an alcoholic watermelon punch (we used rum), then served it out of a hollowed-out watermelon with a spigot we installed! We got the idea from someone on evite, and the guys at Home Depot were very entertained and helped us pick out the hardware we needed. It was a little messy but way fun.

  47. Jessie

    I’ve been lurking for quite a while now :) Just last week I dried my hand at slow-roasting grape tomatoes– put them on a pizza and they were heavenly! And now watermelon lemonade… it’s like diving straight into summer! Thanks for this fabulous recipe!

  48. Deb, you goddess! All hail the Goddess Deb! I made your cranberry (pecan) chicken salad, served it with the watermelon lemonade and topped it off with chocolate yogurt snack cakes for a Very Special Luncheon. Kudos galore! You are the go-to to go to when the going gets going!

  49. Just made this! I forgot to read what the recipe yielded when I started. I doubled the recipe expecting a jar full and was sad when I came out with half a jug. It’s so good! I’ll be making more.

  50. To those looking to use an artificial sweetener – it’s very easy. I personally can’t do straight sugar drinks, but this watermelon lemonade called out to me. I doubled the recipe batch and used less than 4 tbsp of splenda. Because they dissolve into cold liquids unlike sugar, it’s easy to just slowly add to taste. Do not follow the simple syrup measurements, it will probably overload the lemonade!

    Deb, this is fantastic! With just under 4tbsp of splenda for double the original recipe, it has a great tart flavor. And very good slushied, too. I can’t wait to make another batch and use bubbly of some sort. Yum.

  51. Richard

    Why prepare the simple syrup? The total volume of liquid (lemon juice, watermelon puree, plus water) is sufficient to dissolve the required amount of sugar even cold. I followed quantities specified for 4x, added the sugar directly and, voila! a pitcher full and perfect! Delicious and refreshing!

  52. Cris

    Do you think you could throw this in the ice cream maker and make a slushy/granita or would you recommend doing it with the pan in freezer and fork method?


  53. meghan

    i’m currently enjoying a glass of watermelon lemonade, as published in this month’s Real Simple magazine. they also suggest to add mint, but alas, none to be had.

    great minds think alike!

  54. Heidi

    I had a lot of leftover watermelon AND some lemons lying around, so I felt pressured by chance when I saw you post this! It’s a nice change, thanks so much! I used light corn syrup instead of simple syrup, though. I think that’s kinda the same thing? Also, this is good with a splash of watermelon flavored rum!

  55. Deb,
    This looks fabulous. I tried your granita and loved it and so have been keeping lemons on hand. Watermelon is plentiful and cheap now where I live so I will definitely try this recipe! Thanks for the ideas of summer refreshment! Hope you’re enjoying a nice cold glass of this with your feet up this weekend.

  56. Oh, this is delicious… I made a gallon for the Fourth, and it’s wonderful!

    I agree on the simple syrup thing–what could be easier than a cup of sugar, a cup of water, and heat?

  57. Mary Lee

    I saw this and thought WOW! I am a southern girl and lemonade and watermelon are required for the July 4th celebration. I used my hand blender to make the watermelon puree, strained it and voila! My husband, who was less than excited about the idea initially, drank most of my glass before I even had a real taste. He said it made him feel better after working outside in the heat washing off the lawn chairs. Wonderful recipe, again.

  58. clayton

    i’m in paris right now for vaca, and have one more day left until i leave for the south of france for six weeks….for more vaca/work. i am seriously considering ignoring anything i had in mind to do tomorrow, trying to find watermelon and lemons, and making this.

  59. Michael-Ann

    I made the vodka version for today’s festivities. Yummmm! Also, the zucchini saute with the almonds is so good, I have been making it every day.

  60. Ooh, that looks good. I made a watermelon granita the other day that was amazing. It’s fairly similar to the lemonade, but with different proportions (and ittakes four hours!). This sounds like a delicious shortcut.

  61. Amy

    Oh yeah. I made this with 1/2 cup vodka and 1/4 c. water (instead of the original 3/4 c. water) times 8 for 4th of July festivities and it…uh, got the job done. It was a HUGE hit! It also kept fine for about 36 hours (until we broke it out and then finished it an hour later). Thanks!

  62. Dean

    I have made avariation of this many times but with lime instead of lemon and it tastes MUCH better. Try both and see if you don’t agree. If you get a really good watermelon there’s no need for the syrup, it’s beautifully refreshing with its own natural sweetness.

    BTW – whether you use lemon or lime, it makes a great caiparinha.

  63. Such a wonderful recipe. I made two quadruple batches this evening – one with flat water and what bubbly. Truly a refreshing drink!

    Thanks for the consistently amazing recipes! I made two of your recipes this weekend – this and the Cherry Butter Bars you posted a few days ago. SUCH an amazing recipe. Thanks, and keep it up!

  64. Q

    Love the photos…the watermelons and the lemons look beautiful together! I imagine they tasted even better! I adore this blog!

  65. Hi,
    I LOVE watermelon, so this recipe was a must-try. I was a little disappointed, though, because the watermelon flavor was kinda weak, so next time I’ll double or even triple the amount of watermelon puree. But still, thanks for this recipe – I never would have thought of making lemonade out of watermelon. Love your blog!

  66. Berto

    We had just about 4 pitchers of this during our 4th of July grill-a-thon and could not have been more happy with the result. We did take Alex’s recommendation of adding vodka, and it was just what the doctor ordered for the 100+ weather in Houston.

  67. I must say, this looks so delicious. But you know what would be ultra ultra yummy?! Watermelon margaritas! But then again, I always add some sort of booze to the mix. But I know you can’t because you’re with child. I really need to stop drinking. ha!

  68. Thank you! I made this with some of the watermelon I had sitting around, and my inlaws loved it. It wasn’t too lemony forthem and went well with their burgers.

  69. yum yum yum. This recipe is super easy (especially when your husband is juicing the lemons) and delicious. I did 2.5 cups of watermelon so however many times the recipe that is and it was great to bring to a BBQ. Careful with the vodka, you can hardly taste it!

  70. Heather

    So I sliced open the watermelon that had been in my fridge over a week and then I remembered; it was a yellow watermelon. =) Though the final concoction doesn’t look like “watermelon” lemonade, it is divine! Smooooooth and refreshing, I can’t wait to serve it tonight for our 2nd anniversary. Thanks sk!

  71. Sopheavy

    I was at Whole Foods the other day and saw something similiar to this except they were charging about $2-4 for it for a glass! Thank goodness you posted this drink recipe. This looks so refreshing! Just bought a watermelon yesterday so I will be trying this out this week.

  72. i just made your watermelon and feta salad for the 4th (divine, by the way), and now i’ll have to try this one, too. i’m due in november with my second, and i’m constantly on the lookout for refreshing non-alcoholic beverages – i made frozen lemonade on the fourth for my 3-year-old son and me to share (i needed something to rival the frozen cocktails everyone else was having). i wish i’d had this recipe then – just pour it in a blender add ice and whir it up to frozen frothy goodness. love your blog!

  73. Julia

    I made this for a cookout tonight and it was absolutely fantastic- just the right balance of tart and sweet. I tripled the recipe but wished I had made much, much more, so make sure you buy plenty of lemons!

  74. I love your version of watermelon lemonade! I make a watermelon drink during summer which is similar but I use sparkling water for a bit of fizz and I actually add a little splash of Rosewater to the watermelon mixture.

    I don’t know what it is about the Rosewater but it’s a trick I learned a while back when I was attending a summer cooking course. It works wonders, it takes the taste of the watermelon to a whole new level.

    Cheers :)

  75. Anne

    I made this the other night and it was AWESOME. I pureed some extra watermelon and strained and froze it in 2 cup portions to hopefully make more later this summer. Thanks for the great summer drink!

  76. Laura-Leigh

    Like many others, I made this for a 4th of July celebration. I’m not the neatest girl in the kitchen, so my counters were pretty sticky from the lemon and watermelon, but boy, oh boy! It was fabulous! Especially with Absolut Citron.

  77. Oh mercy! This was so good!! I made it for our 4th of July dinner and we LOVED it!!! My 4 yr old son would have finished it all had I let him! =)
    I served it in a beautiful blue glass bottle with slices of lemon and it looked just as good as it tasted…well, almost! ;)
    Thanks for the recipe! Now I’m off to try the hamburger buns for dinner tonight and the Cherry Brown Sugar Bars since we picked some fresh cherries the other day! =)

  78. Amy

    i forwarded my email update to 2 of my friends! I think that we’re gonna make it soon. it looks so good! i CAN NOT WAIT! (and i really will make it this time!) :)

    <3 Amy

    ps i was on vacation, and i was chatting with someone and it turns out she loves this site almost as much as i do! small world!

  79. Mac

    Well, it’s unanimous. This shit rocks. It scaled up nicely to 4x and went incredibly well with vodka. We called it the South Shore Sunshine :-) I also envisioned mint in the mix but had none…Good stuff!

  80. Jenn

    Sorry to do this to you in your current “situation,” but I made the Porch Swing last night after reading this…AWESOME! Pimms is my husband’s favorite after some trips to England. I’ve never liked it that much but with the gin (which I also don’t really like) and the fresh lemonade and the tiny splash of 7up and the cucumbers? Bliss! New favorite drink! Thanks for the post!

  81. denise

    Yum. Hot summer day. Kids down for a nap. All of the ingredients on hand. Wish I had a bottle of cold, sparkly prosecco to stir up with it.

  82. I don’t know how I went so long in my life never having tasted watermelon juice — and I discovered recently how much I love it! I think combining with lemonade is brilliant :)

    I like the previous comment thinking of adding mint, that would be lovely. Mint, or possibly basil instead?

  83. Mac

    @Lisa I thought the same thing abot the juice. I’m not a big watermelon fan at all, but this watermelon juice, now I can get on board with this…Too good.

  84. amy

    My, that was good. David and I drank almost the entire pitcher. Dorothy on the other hand was excited, but less so when she tasted it. What do the kids know, anyway?

    (more for the rest of us, I say!)

  85. Jennifer

    We ate at Blue Smoke while visiting NYC last October. As a midwesterner who lives near a very famous bbq city I can honestly say that was the BEST BBQ I’ve EVER had!!! Bonus hearing Tom Hearrell Quintet downstairs after dinner.
    I miss NY

  86. Debra Rubino

    I cannot tell you how perfect this was for the fourth of July. I made enough for four of us and only wished I had more watermellon to continue through the night. And yes, I added vodka–a most perfect combination I must say. I also need to tell you that this blog has changed my cooking life. For some reason, it’s given me the confidence to start experimenting more and modifying more and more recipes. Although I love cooking, I was stuck in the same old, same old mode and now I feel as if I have a fresh new perspective. I even got gooseberries at the farmer’s market last weekend and have been loving something that I never really tasted. And yes it’s all due to you and your marvelous attitutude and gorgeous photos and wonderful recipes…

  87. anm

    Nice one Deb..add a few drops of rose water , it will take this drink to new heights and coalesce all falvours into something incredibly complex

  88. Erica

    This is the absolute perfect summer drink. I made a pitcher yesterday while we were cooking out, and I can’t wait to get home tonight to relax with another glass out on the deck. The perfect blend of not too sweet, not too tart and deliciously cool. Thank you so much for this one!

  89. i’m laughing hysterically because i figured i was the only weirdo who would ask about the beautiful ice cubes. ah, so lovely to find members of your tribe in the world! i just had the loveliest brunch cocktail that had watermelon juice and cucumber. kiinda like a watermelon pimms. it would have surely been enhanced by lovelier ice cubes.

  90. Kara

    Just found you through Shiso Mama ( and I love this recipe! I’m pregnant too and really miss have a nice summery cocktail. You don’t have a baby safe version of a margarita in your brain somewhere do you?! That would be amazing!

    Looking forward to reading you regularly!

  91. sarah

    I just made this recipe – to the letter. (I went for broke and used fizzy water.) The only clean glass on hand that I had was an very large pilsner glass. I now called the Gluttony Glass, because the entire batch, along with a couple of ice cubes, fit perfectly. Of course, I kicked back and sipped it. All of it. So. Delicious.

    I like this as much as I like Basil Lemonade. (I know, it sounds odd but it tastes divine. I like it for those times when I want full-on lemony lemonade. Although add more or less basic sugar syrup to get it just how you like. The recipe is from one of Giada DeLaurentiis’ cookbooks, and is online here.

    Thanks, Deb.

  92. Jenna Marie

    Just made this today! Delicious. I also went ahead and made regular lemonade, strawberry lemonade and blueberry lemonade. Our lemon tree is prolific. I bottled up all of my creations and now my family has some awesome lemonade variations for these hot So Cal days. We like our lemonade on the tart side, so I only used about 2/3 the sugar and amped up the lemon. Thanks Deb!

  93. Ha3rvey

    I made this for my family recently. It was SO good. Everybody loved it, even my two picky kids. Thank you for posting this. It’s now one of my favorite drink recipes.

  94. Beth in Seattle

    This is wonderful! It is so hot here right now and this is really tasty and refreshing. Super easy too. And your hubby is correct: It is great with a little vodka ;-)

  95. Lyra

    I don’t even like watermelon and this makes me want some!

    Any chance you can share some more of your mommy-to-be mocktail recipes, Deb? I’m hosting a mocktail birthday party and the birthday girl loves SK.

  96. Marie

    I made this into popsicles for a work BBQ and they were quite the hit. This froze wonderfully for popsicles; just the right texture.

  97. Elizabeth

    Thanks for this one! I too made some into delicious popsicles.

    Unrelated question: have you ever heard of or made White Russian cookies? They have Kahlua and coffee, with white chocolate chips, and are so delicious. The cookie place near my college makes them, and I tried to google up a recipe with no luck. Now I’m thinking I’ll try to adapt one, but wondered if you had any thoughts?

  98. Allison

    I made this for a project I did in 5th grade years ago! I’m so glad to have finally found another recipe for it!!

  99. Britt

    I served this with your tangy spiced brisket. My lord. My boyfriend was absolutely floored at how delicious it was. I’d only made a single batch because he can be a picky fellow and I wasn’t sure how he’d receive the watermelon juice – he demanded I make 6 x’s the amount, immediately.

    We sunk into our couch Sunday evening, ladling this crack (with a teensy addition of tequila) into our glasses. New favorite summer drink. Thank you! (:

  100. kinsey

    Been making this all summer, sometimes just the watermelon juice which doesn’t need sugar or anything. With a few ice cubes it gets cold, cold, cold…perfect for these hot, hot days.

  101. I made a gallon-sized pitcher of this for the 4th of July (with a little vodka) and my husband now thinks I hung the moon. Thanks for the recipe. It’s definitely going in my permanent recipe box.

  102. Roma

    This was DELICIOUS as written. However, in a shocking twist, my usually all-too-agreeable younger brother (“I’ll eat the burned ones. They still taste okay.”) had a single vague criticism: “It’s good…but it needs something else.” Sorry, what? “Um…frozen raspberries?” “YEAH!” And it was a magical experience.

  103. Anya

    I just made this, or, a variation on this. Watermelon limeade, tweaking the simple syrup down a bit. And the watermelon I had was seedless, so no need to strain, and I even just used a potato masher to puree it leaving fun little chunks. Which sounds much less appetizing when I type out loud. But delicious. Thanks for the inspiration!

  104. Will

    this, and pretty much any of the agua frescas, sans water, could be poured into an ice cube tray and frozen. then pop them out to cool a nice glass of seltzer, or use in a mixer to add a tiny splash of extra flavor to a simple cocktail!

  105. Ginger

    This is going int my recipe book if for the sole reason that my boyfriend is always whining that there is no such thing as watermelon juice.

  106. Debra

    Thank you for the tip on the Tovolo ice cube trays. They arrived yesterday and I don’t think I’ll be ever be content with plain old ice-maker ice cubes again. These trays make perfect ice cubes! I had no idea what a difference (in both chilling and aesthetic terms) proper ice cubes could make. Thanks again.

  107. Kyra

    This was great! TIP: pour the leftover watermelon puree into popsicle molds. Summer of 2011 will now be referred to as “the summer I discovered how to make watermelon popsicles”.

  108. may

    I had a big watermelon sitting in my kitchen that my dad brought when he visited a few days ago. The other family members I live with don’t eat watermelon and I can’t picture eating the whole thing by myself. So I came here to see if you have any good ideas and lo! This is so yummy! Used a little more watermelon puree than indicated because I like my lemonade thin. Thank you thank you for a wonderful drink! This will be a stple from now on for sure!

  109. jem

    deee-lish. i doubled the recipe and still got six glasses out of it. i love that it tastes just like lemonade but then the after-taste is where the watermelon comes in. my boyfriend loves watermelon and this was a great way to have it. thanks!

  110. Jay

    It looks like in your pictures you are showing oranges? But the recipe doesn’t use them so I am wondering if my eyes are playing tricks on me. Also I wanted to understand better about how you use the watermelon. Do you squeeze the watermelon cubes through a strainer so as only to yield the juice or do you use the pulp of the watermelon? Thanks for clearing this up for me

  111. deb

    The photos are of lemons. I cubed the watermelon to put it into chunks before running it through my food processor to puree it. You then want to strain the puree to remove the seeds.

  112. Mhairi

    Just back from NYC where I had stumbled across Blue Smoke – ok, to be fair it was my friend who’d googled bbq places in the city and found it. Had a porch swing and thought I’d gone to cocktail heaven. A bottle of Hendricks was bought at duty free on the way home and I am sure that many attempts will be made to replicate it now we’re back home. Fantastic!

  113. DavidM

    Two even-easier ways to make simple syrup, with credit to master bartender Dale DeGroff: put equal amounts of sugar and water in a closed container and shake vigorously for two minutes, let it sit for one minute and then shake again for 30 seconds.

    Or, if you have a Vitamix, blend the sugar and water on high for two minutes. It’ll look cloudy (from the air mixed in, I think) but clears quickly. Might be worth trying in other blenders, too.

    As you say, there’s no reason to be without (or, God forbid, buy) simple syrup.

  114. Kyle the Cook

    This turned out fantastic! So simple yet so good. I work as a cook at a healthy grill, and this was the perfect use of watermelon that didn’t look good enough to serve, but was still fresh and tasty. We would have eaten it anyway, but this is a fantastic alternative.

    And I’m taking some home to try it your husband’s way :D

  115. I just made a batch of lemonade, but now I wish I had cooled the syrup down faster (I had to wait a hour before it was ready to drink) and should have infused the sugar water with rosemary via Ally’s suggestion. Okay, I have my weekend plans now: watermelon lemonade it is!

  116. Tina

    This combination is something i used to make @ home for the last five summers as my hubby likes fruits more in juice form. I always experiment with different combo of fruit juices to cater to his taste and now i love doing it. So imagine my surprise when i saw it here!
    Try adding a sprig of crushed mint leaves to it. The taste is further enhanced. And for a decorative touch add a sprig along with the watermelon or lemon wedge.

  117. Madeline

    This is my favorite summertime drink (which, in Houston, is a long season…) Anyway, wanted to share a time-saver that I discovered today while making this. Cutting watermelon is annoying, so this time I just cut it in half and then scooped out the flesh with an ice cream scoop- sooo much easier! (Not as successful: my attempt to reduce watermelon juice to make syrup for cocktails. It got weird.)
    Thanks for all the great recipes, Deb! Happy almost-summer!

  118. BJ Murray

    Deb, never one to waste much, I zest the washed lemons before cutting and juicing. I put all that zest into a freezer-proof container, and whenever I need a hit of zest for pancakes or your Raspberry Buttermilk cake, I just pull it out of the freezer, get what I need, and put it back. Lasts forever this way, and the yummy bits of the lemon don’t go to compost pile.

  119. Veena

    This was yummy! We mixed in white rum, seltzer water and about a 1/4 tsp of chaat masala. Chaat masala is often added to watermelon juice in India, and really kicks up the sweet/sour/salty flavor.

  120. Amanda

    This goes quick because I’ve never served this to anyone who doesn’t fall in love with it. So delicious as is or used in whatever cocktail you want to try it with.

  121. These look seriously delicious. I would love to make my own watermelon lemonade this summer. The perfect hot weather drink! Especially for a very pregnant mom like myself.

  122. atteoj

    Made this yesterday for brunch with a few friends–yum! We drank it 1/2 and 1/2 with cava and it was lovely and perfect for summer. I almost neglected to add the water and was a little taken aback by how strong it was…and then I actually followed the recipe. Ha!

  123. Elaine

    Made this the other day – the quadruple recipe. Delicious!! I added a splash (ok, maybe 2-3 T) more simple sugar because I like the sweetness. Even the grandkids, who said “Blechh!” at the offer (because that’s what they do for anything they’ve never had before) liked it. I thought it tasted better the 2nd day, and last night I had my cocktail with rum and some basil leaves. Wow! I’m in!

  124. Did you put seeded watermelon into your food processor, blitz it, then push through a fine sieve? We only get seeded watermelon in our CSA share (which makes total sense) and I’ve never bothered to make drinks with it as I was worried I couldn’t strain it properly. Can you advise? I have a watermelon bigger than a basketball taking up a LOT of kitchen space at the moment…!

    1. deb

      I was using seedless watermelon. It’s possible your FP could grind it so well that you would get seed rubble in your juice, but also it might just sink.

  125. Miriam G

    What a hit! I made a gallon of it for a picnic and it went fast. Great way to use the summer’s bounty (even when the cut watermelon is sitting in the fridge a few days and no one will eat it because it’s soggy…shhh… ).

  126. Melvin

    I made this with strawberry simple syrup I had leftover and tripled the recipe. Also added some almond extract to taste, which mellowed out the citrus a bit and gave it a little bit of a tropical flavor. Strongly recommend!

  127. Anne

    This is such an adorable recipe! I love lemonade and I can’t wait to make this on a hot summer’s day. Watermelon is such a special treat, and I love anything that it is in. I can’t wait to go home and make this. I know my family would just adore this. It could be such a good refreshment to bring on either a picnic or an outing. and it’s quite simple to make. I can see my whole family enjoying this recipe. Thank you again for posting this recipe and I hope you have a fantastic day.

  128. Anna

    I wanted a really bright lemon flavor so I took a note from the page of your lemon bars and put in half of a whole lemon (rind, peel, pulp, and all) and made this in the blender and it was just what I wanted!