Make Ahead

Boozy Watermelon Rosemary Lemonade

July 14, 2011
7 Ratings
  • Prep time 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 6
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! - piccantedolce —piccantedolce

Test Kitchen Notes

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&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 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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114 Reviews

QueenOfGreen July 6, 2023
Made for Ladies' Night In. Verdict: "These are dangerous!" In a good way!
Jenny July 15, 2016
I have thyme on hand but not rosemary; think that might work too.
Sophies F. September 4, 2015
A divine drink! I made it with rosemary from my garden! Yum yum!
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.
Julie N. July 10, 2015
HA! Thanks for the input.... 4:15 here so I can get cracking! Or should I say drinking!! And Titos is my fave too....
Julie N. July 10, 2015
How would it taste with vodka??
Katanasnk July 10, 2015
I expect it would be fine with vodka. If you have flavored vodka (Absolut Citron, for example) I imagine that would work well too.
mnist June 27, 2015
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.
Joeyman9 June 21, 2015
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
ariel A. June 19, 2015
A++, even without the gin.
Ammar B. June 20, 2015
Yes I just tried it. Awesome!
Katanasnk June 14, 2015
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.
Broccolini Q. December 29, 2014
Pool side party favorite!
Theresa July 5, 2014
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!
Andy July 20, 2015
I'm hosting a cocktail party this weekend for 12. What's the best way to increase the proportions?
Theresa November 13, 2016
Oh no! I just saw this now... over a year after your party!! I multiplied everything by 4 and used two good size hand fulls of rosemary. I hope it worked out for your party. :)
SweetTooth May 11, 2014
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.
Tereza March 19, 2014
Do you need to use as much sugar? Maybe honey?
piccantedolce March 19, 2014
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.
Esther G. September 18, 2013
Used the leftover watermelon / lemon juice / syrup mixture in iced tea for the rest of the week. Completely addictive!
rpacheco August 11, 2013
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!
JLErickson August 5, 2013
I tried it both ways but substituting club soda for the cold water in step 4 only improves what is already a fantastic drink.
GailValente July 25, 2013
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!
Jo E. May 10, 2013
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!
Sashinka November 24, 2012
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. :-)
Sashinka November 24, 2012
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.