If you’re looking for an insanely refreshing summer drink, look no further than homemade WATERMELON LEMONADE! This recipe yields a very large pitcher, so it’s perfect for summer barbecues, parties, and picnics. Made with fresh lemons, simple syrup, and watermelon juice, it’s exploding with watermelon flavor.
Easy Watermelon Lemonade
If you love watermelon and lemon, and have somehow never made watermelon lemonade before, you need to drop everything, grab all of the ingredients needed to make this recipe, and whip up a batch as soon as humanly possible!
It’s the best refreshing drink you’ll make all summer, and basically essential during a heatwave! We always have a huge jug in the fridge because it pairs with almost any summer food imaginable. Watermelon lemonade and pasta salad? Yes, please! Watermelon lemonade and sandwiches? Yum! Watermelon lemonade and burgers? A match made in heaven. I could go on and on, but I think you get my point!
Choose a Ripe Seedless Watermelon
We all know ripe watermelon has the best flavor, so be sure to shop during watermelon season! Out of season watermelons are never going to win first prize for flavor, so just wait until you can find one that’s super ripe and ready to be eaten. Or in this case, purred.
You’ll want to select a watermelon that’s deep green in color (opposed to a light yellow or pale green) and survey the rind for a yellow ground spot. If you ground spot is white, or a light green color, it’s not ready to be eaten yet!
What you’ll Need:
- Granulated Sugar: I find 1 and 1/2 cups is the perfect amount of sugar, but you can cut this down to 1 cup if you really want to. Just remember the lemon juice and sugar need to balance one another out, so if you cut the sugar too much, your lemonade may be VERY sour.
- Water: You use water to make the simple syrup, as well as cold water to make the lemonade.
- Lemons: Fresh squeezed lemon juice is a must’ve for homemade lemonade! You’ll juice the lemons, but you’ll also use the lemon peel for the simple syrup. To get the most put of your lemons, choose large lemons that feel heavy. I suggest grabbing a couple of extra lemons for garnish.
- Seedless Watermelon: Cut into cubes! You’ll place the watermelon cubes in a blender and blend until smooth. Then use a fine mesh strainer to stain! See my notes on how to pick a ripe watermelon in this post. You’ll also want extra water melon so you can garnish!
- Fresh Mint: Optional, but makes a very pretty garnish. Look for fresh mint that’s fragrant and has firm leaves.
Let’s Make Watermelon Lemonade
- Make your simple syrup first! You’ll simply combine sugar, water, and lemon peel and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Then cool for at least an hour. You can do this up to 2 weeks in advance! Just store the simple syrup in the fridge.
- You’re going to need a blender! Place the cubed watermelon in the blender (or food processor) and pulse until well pureed.
- Gran a big pitcher and combine the simple syrup, watermelon juice, water, and lemon juice. Chill until you’re ready to enjoy!
- For extra pizzazz, garnish each glass with a tiny wedge of watermelon: it’s just so cute! A lemon slice and a sprig of fresh mint are also great accents! But all of these are optional.
Watermelon Lemonade Cocktails?
I mean… why not, right? If you’re looking to turn this watermelon lemonade into a boozy treat, you definitely can! To turn this drink into a cocktail, try adding vodka, tequila, rum, or even bourbon. There’s really no wrong way to cocktail this. You can also add a splash of sparkling water – flavored or unflavored – for a sparkling mock-tail!
More Refreshing Summer Drinks:
- Bourbon Peach Iced Tea
- Refreshing Rosé Sangria
- Fresh Peach Margaritas
- Sunrise Strawberry Mimosa Recipe
- The Best Moscow Mules
- 5-Minute Margaritas
For the Simple Syrup:
- 1 and 1/2 cups (298g) granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/2 cups (340ml) water
- 2 1" strips lemon peel
For the Watermelon Lemonade:
- 8 cups seedless watermelon cubed
- 3 cups (681ml) water cold
- 1 and 3/4 cups (171ml) lemon juice freshly squeezed
- lemon slices garnish, optional
- watermelon wedges garnish, optional
- fresh mint sprigs garnish, optional
For the Simple Syrup:
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and lemon peel. Bring to a simmer over medium-heat and cook, whisking occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 5 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and set aside to cool for at least 1 hour before use. Once cool, strain through a fine-mesh strainer and discard lemon peel.
- Use at once, or cover and store in the refrigerator until needed, up to 2 weeks.
For the Watermelon Lemonade:
- Place the watermelon in a blender or food processor and pulse until well pureed. Pour through a fine mesh strainer and into a large bowl.
- In a large pitcher, combine the simple syrup, watermelon juice, water, and lemon juice. Stir well to combine and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
- When ready to serve, fill tall glasses halfway with ice. Pour the watermelon lemonade on top of the ice, and garnish each glass with a tiny wedge of watermelon, a lemon slice, and a sprig of fresh mint, if using. Serve at once!