What’s more refreshing than watermelon? Here are our best watermelon drink ideas, from tangy margaritas to cool smoothies.
Calling all watermelon lovers! What’s more refreshing than the sweet, juicy flavor of watermelon? It tastes like pool parties, summer sun, flip flops and freshly mowed grass. So we thought, why not infuse that carefree flavor into some drinks to keep the summery vibe going?
Alex and I set about to create one or two watermelon drink ideas, but somewhere along the way we accidentally came up with 7! We found that watermelon is perfect in cocktails, but it’s also great in smoothies or just simply sipped through a straw as juice. Its bright pink color also makes it incredibly festive looking and stunning to photograph. Suffice it to say, we might not have made so many if watermelon was brown and drab.
Before we get going on these watermelon drink ideas though: let’s talk briefly about a few things!
What are the benefits of eating watermelon?
Side benefit to all these watermelon drink ideas: they’re full of nutrients too! Watermelon is a healthy food: and even if you’re only getting a little bit of it in these drinks, you can snack on the rest that massive watermelon to enjoy it in larger quantities. Here are a few of the benefits of drinking your watermelon — it is:
- High in lycopene, an antioxidant, which studies show could help curb your risk of cancer and diabetes as part of a healthy lifestyle. Watermelon has more lycopene than any other veggie!
- High in vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium.
- Full of water, so it’s very hydrating.
- A very low calorie food, and naturally sweet.
(Source WebMD: Health Benefits of Watermelon)
How to tell if a watermelon is ripe?
Have you ever gotten an unripe watermelon? We have, and it’s quite disappointing! It looks lovely but it tastes completely bland. Here are a few tips for picking out a ripe watermelon.
- To make sure you get ruby red, sweet flesh inside, look for a lighter spot where the watermelon rested in the field: it’s called a field spot. If the field spot is white, it’s unripe: if the spot is yellow, it’s ripe.
- The watermelon should feel very heavy, which means there’s a lot of juice inside.
And now, let’s get to the watermelon drink ideas!
This watermelon margarita is shocking pink, tangy, sweet, and a little bit salty: basically, it's the perfect drink! It comes out with just the right amount of tang from the lime and sweetness from the watermelon: it doesn’t even require any added sweetener. The fun part about this drink is that instead of salting the rim, the drink itself is salted. This gives it a complexity in flavor that makes you want to keep drinking it: so beware!
This 3-ingredient watermelon smoothie is juicy and lightly sweet, with frozen strawberries and banana. It’s a unique smoothie idea that’s ultra refreshing! Adding watermelon to smoothies can make the texture very watery. You want to add enough watermelon to get the watermelon flavor, but not enough that it’s too watery. Because of this, it’s helpful to have a recipe for this watermelon drink to get the right texture. Why add watermelon to a smoothie if it’s so watery? Watermelon is full of vitamins and nutrients! And, its naturally sweet flavor adds a delicious, almost tropical flair to a smoothie.
Next up in our watermelon drink recipes: watermelon gin cocktail! It's gin forward, a little pine-y from the gin and tangy from lemon: just sweet enough with a hint of honey. It’s seriously refreshing, and that little watermelon wedge garnish? To die for. Here’s how to make this watermelon cocktail!
What about straight up watermelon juice? It’s seriously refreshing and full of vitamins and nutrients. And it tastes almost better than watermelon itself! At least, we think so. We’ve been on a mission to find healthy drink alternatives to soda that still feel special. Anyone else feel the pain? Here’s how to make watermelon juice: it only takes a few minutes to make, and it’s a unique and super refreshing drink.
Why have a Moscow mule or Kentucky mule when you can have a…watermelon mule? This unique watermelon drink is a spin on the classic cocktail that's light and refreshing. The concept behind this version of the classic drink is using equal parts ginger beer and watermelon juice, instead of straight ginger beer. This brings in the essence of watermelon and lightens the flavor just a bit. Then, it’s got the traditional ingredients: vodka and lime juice. To preserve the carbonation of the ginger beer, it’s simply mixed right in the mug and served over ice!
This watermelon vodka drink is ultra refreshing, featuring sweet watermelon, tangy lime, and vodka. It's as simple as making watermelon juice, then mixing a few ingredients together in a cocktail shaker! Just blend watermelon in a blender, then strain it through a fine mesh strainer to remove any “floaties”. You’ll come out with a watermelon juice that’s bright pink and naturally sweet: perfect for making watermelon drinks!
Here's an easy way to make a “fancy” watermelon drink that’s ultra refreshing and healthy: watermelon cucumber juice! It takes minutes to make and garnished with a little watermelon wedge, it looks beautiful too. Something about the cucumber brings in a spa-like, relaxing vibe.
More watermelon recipes
And, a few more watermelon recipes we love:
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.