Boozy Watermelon Rosemary Lemonade

By • July 14, 2011 113 Comments

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Author Notes: I came up with the recipe for the lemonade first and then discovered that it went amazingly with gin, making it a favorite summer drink in our house! - piccantedolcepiccantedolce

Food52 Review: This tart, pink cocktail is a burst of summer in a glass. You don't strain the watermelon puree, which gives the drink some texture, and we love that piccantedolce calls for gin instead of a more predictable spirit like vodka. The mineral quality of the gin is echoed in the rosemary infused syrup, which announces its presence clearly without hijacking the whole flavor profile. We recommend you serve this over plenty of ice in Mason jars. - A&MThe Editors

Serves 6

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 cup lemon juice - fresh squeezed
  • 7 cups watermelon - cut into a 1" dice - approx half a medium watermelon
  • 8 ounces gin
  • 1 lemon - thinly sliced
  1. Place sugar and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan, add rosemary sprigs. Cook over medium heat stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once dissolved remove from heat, cover saucepan and let sit for at least an hour to infuse.
  2. In a blender combine the lemon juice with cubed watermelon. Add the watermelon in batches, blending in between each addition.
  3. Add in the rosemary simple syrup 1/4 cup at a time until the mixture is at your desired sweetness. I use about a cup.
  4. Pour the mixture into a large pitcher and add 1 cup of cold water, and the gin. Stir to combine. Serve in jars garnished with a lemon slice and half of a rosemary sprig.
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Comments (113) Questions (3)


18 days ago ihaventpoisonedyouyet

To Ms. J.N. Jones: it is amazing with vodka! Amazing! In fact, although it's only 1:00 in the afternoon here, I want to run into the kitchen and get the watermelon/lemon/Rosemary/syrup out of the refrigerator and grab the Uncle Tito's and have a happy Lisa day. Sadly, I need to wait about 5 hours or my family will gather me into the arms of an intervention.


17 days ago Julie Ninowski Jones

HA! Thanks for the input.... 4:15 here so I can get cracking! Or should I say drinking!! And Titos is my fave too....


18 days ago Julie Ninowski Jones

How would it taste with vodka??


18 days ago Katanasnk

I expect it would be fine with vodka. If you have flavored vodka (Absolut Citron, for example) I imagine that would work well too.


about 1 month ago mnist

I made a double batch and froze it in ziplock bags. Tasted just as wonderful and was ready to defrost whenever I needed it. Vodka, gin or no booze at all - it's wonderful.


about 1 month ago Joeyman9

Made this drink yesterday for a BBQ, big hit, with and without the Jimi Hendricks gin. Beats the hell out of infusing watermelons with vodka. Refreshing and delicious


about 1 month ago ariel a

A++, even without the gin.


about 1 month ago Ammar Badran Basir

Yes I just tried it. Awesome!


about 1 month ago Katanasnk

Made this to go with dinner tonight. Really, really surprisingly delicious! I wasn't sure how well watermelon and rosemary and lemon would play off each other but I got a great balance. I used Tanqueray gin because it's what I have. Big hit. Maybe the best use for half a watermelon.


7 months ago Broccolini Queenie

Pool side party favorite!


about 1 year ago Theresa

We made this for a party (multiplied original recipe by 4) and it was a big hit!! Also followed the recommendations of previous comments and used Hendrick's gin and 3-4x the rosemary. Make this, you'll love it :) Thanks piccantedolce!


8 days ago big-andy

I'm hosting a cocktail party this weekend for 12. What's the best way to increase the proportions?


about 1 year ago SweetTooth

This is amazing!! I ended up using key lime juice (because I was lazy) and vodka (since that's what we had) and it is one of the best drinks I've ever had. I absolutely love that rosemary syrup in there! It works amazingly well with the watermelon to make a refreshing, delicious drink. It's also fantastic without the alcohol, which I had to do for one person.


over 1 year ago Tereza

Do you need to use as much sugar? Maybe honey?



over 1 year ago piccantedolce

you can use what ever sweetener you like. though as noted I only use a cup of simple syrup which for the whole pitcher of lemonade isn't even half a cup of sugar. whatever sweetener you use you just have to infuse it with the rosemary.


almost 2 years ago Esther Galan

Used the leftover watermelon / lemon juice / syrup mixture in iced tea for the rest of the week. Completely addictive!


almost 2 years ago rpacheco

Loved this recipe. Decided to get the Hendrick's based on the recommendations, and that combined with the rosemary-ness and watermelon was absolutely divine!


almost 2 years ago JLErickson

I tried it both ways but substituting club soda for the cold water in step 4 only improves what is already a fantastic drink.


about 2 years ago GailValente

I substituted vodka for gin, doubled the recipe, added a bit more lemon and headed off to a party with this in a big beverage dispenser. It got rave reviews, no hangovers, no dehydration and my dispenser was returned empty! Making it again for a gathering at my house this weekend! Lovelovelove it!


about 2 years ago Jo El Snyder

This was FANTASTIC! The combination was really unique (although I added twice as much fresh rosemary when I infused the simple syrup.) I am going to make it for Mother's Day lunch!


over 2 years ago Sashinka

p.s. I used Hendrick's Gin as Mcraigclark suggested and it was the perfect choice,thanks for that! I may add cucumber next time as suggested, that sounds like it may work well in this fabulous recipe... Love this drink. :-)


over 2 years ago Sashinka

I love watermelon so much that I cube it and freeze it. I like the texture of frozen watermelon so i keep it on hand. So, imagine my pleasure at finding this recipe AND having the correct amount of watermelon on hand! I just made this and it's fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing such an interesting and delicious recipe! This is a keeper.


over 2 years ago haley.madsen.77

This was the most delicious drink we have ever made. It is so tasty and the rosemary is such a wonderful hint to the sweet watermelon. My boyfriend and I drank a whole pitcher over the course of the day and no hangover the next day either ha.


over 2 years ago haley.madsen.77

This was the most delicious drink we have ever made. It is so tasty and the rosemary is such a wonderful hint to the sweet watermelon. My boyfriend and I drank a whole pitcher over the course of the day and no hangover the next day either ha.


almost 3 years ago Ms. T

I've been lusting after this recipe forever and finally had a chance to try it this weekend. Bravo! Equally enjoyed by pregnant ladies (with a splash of sparkling water) and the boozers (with gin or vodka), it was a huge hit all around. Like summer in a glass. Love the subtle hint of rosemary. I did end up straining the juice to remove most of the pulp and the little white seeds from the "seedless" melon. Thanks for sharing a great recipe!