Treat yourself ... this easy, homemade Watermelon Lemonade is the ultimate summer drink, and it takes minutes to make!
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Need a signature summer drink? Then, you have to try this refreshing Watermelon Lemonade recipe!
I've fallen head over heels for this gorgeous lemonade. It has a perfectly balanced sweet - tart flavor that's totally crave worthy, the recipe is quick and easy, and it's vibrant pink color is a show-stopper.
This delicious drink is the perfect way to beat the summer heat and to use up a giant watermelon. And you'll probably want to make a double batch, because it's impossible to stop at one glass.
Never made homemade lemonade before? It's actually much simpler (and less fussy) than you'd think, and you only need four ingredients to make it (one of which is water). So back away from the powdered stuff and get ready for the best lemonade of your life!
This easy watermelon and lemon drink only requires four ingredients! Here's what you'll need:
- Fresh Watermelons
- Fresh Lemon Juice
- Granulated Sugar
Simple, right? Of course, that means you'll want to use the best quality ingredients, like the sweetest, juiciest watermelon (check out my tips for choosing one below) and fresh-squeezed lemon juice ... do not use bottled lemon juice for this recipe!
You'll Also Need
You'll need a blender to blend the watermelon. I used my Ninja Foodi Cold & Hot Blender (which was a gift from Ninja), and it tackled the job in seconds. This powerful blender is a great alternative to much more expensive Vitamix machines. You will also need a fine mesh strainer to separate the pulp from the juice.
How to Pick a Watermelon
Choosing a watermelon may seem trick, but it doesn’t have to be. Try these three simple tips on your next shopping trip:
- Pick it up. Juicy melons should feel heavy for their size.
- Look for a yellow spot. A creamy, yellow spot (versus a pale, white one) where the watermelon rested on the ground while growing indicates that it was allowed to fully ripen before harvesting.
- Give it a thump. The watermelon’s surface should be firm, and a juicy one should have a deep hollow sound.
I kept this recipe quite simple, but it's easy to change up the flavors. Try one of these variations once you've mastered the basic recipe:
- Mint - To add a minty twist to your drink, blend ½ cup mint leaves along with the watermelon. The fresh herb flavor will remain even after you strain the juice. Basil would also work.
- Berries - Got a bunch of berries on hand? Swap out some of the watermelon for fresh strawberries or raspberries.
- Sparkling - Add a fun, sparkling twist to this drink! To add bubbles without changing the flavor, prepare the recipe with two cups water (instead of four). Then, add ¼ cup sparkling or mineral water (I like Topo Chico) to eat glass before serving. To create a lighter mocktail-type drink, prepare the recipe as directed, then stir ¼ to ½ cup sparkling or mineral water—depending on how light / sweet you'd like your drink—into each glass before serving.
- Cocktail - Turning this drink into a cocktail is easy. Simply add a shot of your fave vodka, or for a delicious botanical flavor, try gin. Cheers!
How to Make Watermelon Lemonade
If you've never made fresh lemonade at home, you might be surprised to find out that it's super easy. And I have a really easy trick for adding the sugar ... no simple syrup or endless stirring required!
To start, cut your watermelon into chunks, then puree it in your blender. Next, place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl, and slowly pour the watermelon juice through it. Stop occasionally to stir the liquid in the strainer and press on the pulp. Discard the pulp, then set the liquid aside.
It isn't 100% necessary to strain the juice. I prefer to strain though, because it makes a much smoother drink.
After you've made the watermelon juice, squeeze the lemons. An old-fashioned citrus juicer works perfectly for this.
You'll need ¾ cup lemon juice for the recipe, which is about 3 large, juicy lemons. I'd recommend purchasing extra lemons though, because they can really vary in juiciness ... better safe than sorry! If you prefer, you can strain the lemon juice, as well.
Take one of the squeezed lemons and thinly slice the peel. You'll add this to the drink, as well.
Next, you're going to add the sugar, and I have a really neat hack for doing it.
Add four cups hot water and ¾ cup sugar to a pitcher. Just use hot water from your faucet, it doesn't need to be boiling hot. Then, stir until the sugar dissolves. You'll know you're done when the water turns clear.
I learned this easy trick from one of my fave cookbooks, Entertaining for a Veggie Planet ... so clever, right? It really saves a lot of time, too, since you're not making simple syrup (then waiting for it to cool) or trying to mix sugar and cold water (which always takes forever).
Add the lemon juice and sliced lemon to the sugar-water. Stir, then mix in the watermelon juice.
And that's all there is to it, your homemade Watermelon Lemonade is ready to drink! This recipe makes eight servings. Serve over ice, garnished with lemon slices and watermelon wedges, if you wish.
Tip: I think this drink is the perfect combination of tart and sweet, but you can always add more (or less) sugar to taste. To make it extra tart, stir in more lemon juice.
Need to use up a big watermelon? Here are some of my fave recipes that I know you'll love, too:
- Watermelon Mojito
- Watermelon Quinoa Salad
- Watermelon Juice
- Watermelon Popsicles
- Watermelon Punch
- Watermelon Salsa
- Watermelon Gazpacho
- Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint
- Watermelon Sorbet
- 4 cups chopped watermelon
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 4 cups hot water (from faucet, not boiling)
- ¾ cup fresh lemon juice (reserve peel from one juiced lemon)
- Puree watermelon in blender, then strain through fine mesh strainer. Set aside juice and discard pulp.
- Combine sugar and hot water in a pitcher. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Stir fresh lemon juice into sugar-water. Thinly slice reserved lemon peel, then add to pitcher.
- Add watermelon juice and mix well.
- Serve immediately over ice or chill until ready to drink. Enjoy!