Boozy Watermelon Rosemary Lemonade

By • July 14, 2011 • 99 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&MA&M

Serves 6

  • 3/4 cups 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, the gin and fill with the watermelon mixture. Stir to combine. Serve in jars garnished with a lemon slice and half of a rosemary sprig.

Comments (99) Questions (3)

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about 1 month ago Tereza

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

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about 1 month 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.

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7 months ago Esther Galan

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

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9 months 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!

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9 months 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.

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9 months 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!

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12 months 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!

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over 1 year 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. :-)

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over 1 year 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.

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over 1 year 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.

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over 1 year 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.

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over 1 year 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!

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over 1 year ago EmilyC

Made this today without the booze -- it's fantastic! I used raw sugar for the rosemary simple syrup, sparkling water instead of still, and served it over lots of ice. So delicious.

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almost 2 years ago ihaventpoisonedyouyet

I used vodka and heavens! What a great way to add fruit to our diet! Best recipe ever!!!

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almost 2 years ago hmaier

Excellent! I made this for Memorial Day and got nothing but compliments for it!

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over 2 years ago JackieP

this is seriously the best homemade cocktail i've made yet! it's sooooooo delicious! we've tried with vodka and bourbon, and oh my, nothing but delicious! the rosemary simple syrup is genius too! gonna try to concoct a few other drinks w/it come spring!

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over 2 years ago hilary.ann.smith

Just made this tonight and it is AMAZING. I put the 8 oz in the pitcher and am letting people add more gin as their tast suits. Do you think this could be done with a fruit other than watermelon? (my boyfriend is allergic to melons--his loss).

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over 2 years ago sygyzy

This drink was amazing. I am not sure if this was teh intention but you could barely taste the gin. I am not trying to make the drink taste like I am taking shots but really, 4 oz is barely anything. Next time I am going to boost it a bit. Used Citadelle gin.

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over 2 years ago sexyLAMBCHOPx

The recipe calls for 8 oz of gin - not 4 oz.

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over 2 years ago Aimless

I have an enormous jug of this again in my refrigerator. This time I cranked up the rosemary, doubled or tripled it, and minced it so the rosemary simple syrup was more potent and assertive. Was more judicious with sweetening too, and got it just right. It has been sustaining me nicely through the rigors of Irene.

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over 2 years ago Traci Thomas Peugnet

I agree that Hendricks would have been perfect in this cocktail, though I wish my watermelon were more in season and perhaps sweeter? Tasty enough for one drink and different than my usual G&T

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over 2 years ago Traci Thomas Peugnet

I agree that Hendricks would have been perfect in this cocktail, though I wish my watermelon were more in season and perhaps sweeter? Tasty enough for one drink and different than my usual G&T