Amanda & Merrill

Watermelon, Meet Lemonade

by:
May 25, 2010

Watermelon, Meet Lemonade

- Merrill

Last weekend, my sister and some friends threw me a lovely bridal shower. The food was delicious. Happy guests devoured crudités, curried chicken salad, mini grilled cheese sandwiches with bacon, sausage rolls, and homemade currant and ginger scones with clotted cream and raspberry jam. To drink, there was a crisp rosé and a refreshing concoction of fresh watermelon, lemon, sugar and water known as "watermelonade." Apparently, it's one of the caterer's specialties, and everyone raved about the juicy, pink drink. This past weekend, I couldn't resist attempting it myself. Let me know what you think!

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Watermelonade

Adapted from Go Catering

Serves 10

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 cups cubed watermelon
  • 3½ cups water 
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1. Bring sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring sugar to dissolve. Set aside.

2. Put the cubed watermelon in a blender and puree until smooth, about 20 seconds. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. You should have about 2 cups of strained watermelon juice.

3. Mix the sugar syrup with 3 cups cold water and the lemon juice. Stir well.

4. Fill glasses with ice, add about 3 tablespoons of watermelon juice and then top off with lemonade. Stir gently before serving.

 

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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35 Comments

Carmas June 12, 2013
What a wonderfully light & refreshing drink, all by itself. Used it as a base and added Vodka, & Mint. Calling it "Summer Goodness" and serving it, shaken, in a martini glass. Many thanks!!
 
tigerlille July 7, 2010
Watermelon is very popular in China too. I will never forget what happened when I served my baby daughter watermelon a few days after returning from China, where I had adopted her. Her eyes got all wide, and her little mouth dropped, and she grapsed the cut up chunks in astonishment, hardly able to believe that this unvilvillized country had watermelon!
 
Merrill S. July 7, 2010
That is a great mental image. Thanks for sharing!
 
BelleBell June 17, 2011
I've been living in China for 5 years now and at first I was amazed at the amount of watermelon everywhere. Now I get excited when I see the first huge trucks of the season hawking their wares of the most amazing watermelon I have ever had! <br /><br />Try looking for yellow watermelon for your daughter. I'll bet she would love that, too! It's also quite delicious. Ooooooo...and fresh lychee as well. That's big here. So are red bayberries (sometimes called waxberries). Many people will freeze a portion of them when they come out in the summer and then have them during spring festival. In the colder months, "mandarin" oranges are abundant.<br /><br />Heehee I tend to get really excited about fruit in China.
 
waldo June 23, 2010
I had the most delicious drink EVER, made from watermelon and rose water, the combination is unreal!!!
 
Merrill S. July 7, 2010
Sounds bewitching!
 
QueenOfGreen May 30, 2010
Have never been big on watermelon, but made this today and it was great! I love finding things I didn't think I'd like.
 
Merrill S. July 7, 2010
I'm so glad you enjoyed it. The truth? I'm usually not much of a watermelon fan either!
 
coffeefoodwrite May 27, 2010
This looks great -- I wonder how the watermelon would be run through a juicer -- congrats on a wonderful bridal shower.
 
Merrill S. May 27, 2010
Thanks, and good question! I don't have a juicer, so I'm afraid I can't tell you for sure, but I'm guessing it would work pretty well. I might still strain it, though.
 
BelleBell June 17, 2011
They make watermelon juice (xigua zhu) here all the time. Mostly they just put it in the blender.
 
Kelsey B. May 27, 2010
Happy Bridal shower!! So, I just made this up during naptime because it looks so awesome. I froze some of it in our popsicle makers for my daughter because I know she will LOVE it. Watermelon and lemonade are two of her favorite things so I am sure she'll be dancing around the house at the thought of Watermelonade popsicle (I might have one, too!)
 
Merrill S. May 27, 2010
Thank you, Kelsey! I love the idea of making popsicles with this -- will have to try it myself.
 
darrel3000 May 27, 2010
Congratulations on your wedding! was it difficult for you to pick a menu becuase your a foodie or was it easy? tell us what that was like, if you dont mind.<br />
 
Merrill S. May 27, 2010
Thanks! It was actually pretty easy. The caterer is all about local, seasonal ingredients, so we got really lucky on that front. And August in Maine means local oysters, mussels, lobster, crab, tomatoes, goat cheese, wild blueberries...and the list goes on!
 
vvvanessa May 26, 2010
when i go to the red hook ball fields for huaraches in the summer, i get a mix of the watermelon and lime aguas frescas. they sell it in these gigantic cups that i glug down in moments. and then i get another. this recipe reminds me of that drink and how i can't wait to have it again soon!
 
Merrill S. May 26, 2010
I usually get horchata, but next time I'll try your combo!
 
lapadia May 25, 2010
What a wonderful bridal shower, congrats to your upcoming wedding! The “watermelonade" sounds delicious and refreshing. Every 4th of July I make rhubarb/lemonade – a Kathy Casey recipe; hmmm, looks like this year I shall have a lemonade tasting party, watermelon vs. rhubarb lemonade!
 
Merrill S. May 25, 2010
Sounds like fun!
 
Kitchen B. May 25, 2010
Amongst the things I miss about home (Nigeria), Watermelon is high on my list. When it is in season, guys fill wheelbarrows and walk the streets, selling them for as little as a dollar! We used to buy them and juice them, sans the seeds and refrigerate. OMW, heaven in a glass. Now I'm incredibly thirsty, with no chance of it abating as I head to bed! Glad you're enjoying all the festivities leading up to the wedding (and marriage).
 
Merrill S. May 25, 2010
Thanks! And I didn't know about watermelon being so popular in Nigeria!
 
Bevi May 25, 2010
I think I'll have to try all of the above alcoholic combos. Vodka sounds really promising - I make a watermelon and fresh mint salad with a splash of vodka. Thanks for all the suggestions! July 4th is looking better and better!
 
MommieDawn May 25, 2010
OMG OMG OMG! ! I'm going to get a watermelon TODAY!!! ANd make this !!
 
Merrill S. May 25, 2010
Great!! Let me know how it turns out.
 
Bevi May 25, 2010
This sounds wonderful! I wonder what alcohol could be added to this to make a punch?
 
Merrill S. May 25, 2010
I think vodka would be good, don't you? A few people at the shower combined the watermelon juice with prosecco, and that sounded pretty great.
 
AntoniaJames May 25, 2010
I'd put some light rum in it, with a splash of very dry ginger ale, and garnish with mint . . . or perhaps some tequila, garnishing with slivers of preserved lemon. I could definitely see a touch of salt finding its way into a cocktail made with this. I wouldn't salt the rim, though.;o)
 
mrslarkin May 25, 2010
Yum! Thanks for the recipe, Merrill! Wish I had a watermelon right now. The caterer I worked for does a version of this with ginger. Delish.
 
Merrill S. May 25, 2010
All these cool variations! Thanks, everyone, for sharing.
 
MagdaKrance May 25, 2010
An interesting variation at Cosi restaurants in Chicago add touch of habanero chile to the mix...served with watermelon chunks on a skewer. Tasty!
 
Merrill S. May 25, 2010
Wow -- that's definitely a step up in sophistication!
 
WinnieAb May 25, 2010
I make something like this all the time in the summer. I also love it with fresh raspberries. The picture is making me very thirsty for some right now!
 
Merrill S. May 25, 2010
The raspberry addition sounds great!
 
dymnyno May 25, 2010
It sounds very refreshing and the color is nice too. What colors are your bridesmaids wearing?
 
Merrill S. May 25, 2010
It'll just be my sister and my best friend, and they'll both be in coral. Not too far off from the color of this drink, actually!