What’s pink, juicy, flavorful and best enjoyed on the beach during the summer? Watermelon, of course. There are few fruits that can beat this thirst-quencher once warm weather hits, and the way it shines in a cocktail only makes it that much better.
Watermelon’s vibrant salmon-red hue and delicate vegetal-fruity flavor add visual appeal and freshness to drinks of all types. Whether you want to blitz it in a blender and strain it for its juice, create a syrup with it, muddle it or just spike the fruit by sticking a bottle of tequila in it, the fruit is bound to leave you satisfied and revitalized. These are 11 watermelon-laced drinks to get your summer going.
Calling all rum-lovers. This is the alluring spicy Daiquiri riff you’ll likely be drinking all summer. The recipe calls for a base of aged rum that gets added upon with orange liqueur, lime juice, simple syrup, muddled watermelon and a bit of ground cayenne pepper, shaken and served up. The perfect balance of acid, sweetness and spiciness makes this drink greater than the sum of its parts and ideal for any occasion.
Watermelon and tequila are a match made in heaven. This Margarita riff, featuring more than a touch of Mojito, involves a mix of tequila, lime juice, watermelon juice, agave nectar and mint, shaken and served on the rocks. It’s a fresh and flavorful combination.
Much more than the mere sparkling rosé wine that this drink’s name suggests, it’s actually a carefully crafted concoction of tequila, lemon and watermelon juices, simple syrup and, yes, sparkling rosé. It’s quick and easy to whip up; you might consider multiplying the recipe by 10 and making a pitcher’s worth, since it’s bound to disappear quicker than you can say “rosé all day.”
While this drink shares its punny name with many a recipe, this version by Greg Seider, a New York City bartender and the author of “Alchemy in a Glass,” is the fruity and spicy Margarita variation we prefer. Watermelon chunks and jalapeño peppers are added to a shaker and muddled with agave syrup before being mixed and shaken with tequila, lime juice and ice. It’s simple to make and delivers fresh and complex flavors.Continue to 5 of 11 below.
Crafted in the style of a Gin Sour, this drink employs a base of London dry gin that gets paired with lemon and watermelon juices and a black-pepper-and-honey syrup that enhances the juicy flavors for a unique kick.
Watermelon White Wine Spritzer
While this perhaps sounds like a drink for the Boomer crowd, it’s actually delicious and eminently crushable. It’s made in the style of a Bellini (a mix of fruit purée and sparkling wine), but here the sparkling wine element takes the form of a combination of white wine and soda water. First, agave nectar and watermelon flesh get processed in a blender and then strained and added into a glass. Just add white wine and top with soda water.
You may have noticed by now which ingredients and flavors tend to complement watermelon well—mint, citrus juice and agave nectar—all three of which are called for in this cocktail as well. Mint and agave nectar get muddled in a shaker to release the herb’s delicate essential oils before they’re joined by cucumber vodka, elderflower liqueur, and lime and watermelon juices to produce a refreshing and aromatic mix.
Rise Up Red Sea
Inspired by NFL football team the Arizona Cardinals (their fans call themselves as the Red Sea, referring to the color of their jerseys), this elevated tequila sour spares no detail. A blanco tequila is shaken with Campari, lime juice, watermelon syrup and Peychaud’s bitters to create a cocktail that balances bitter, sweet and sour flavors incredibly well.Continue to 9 of 11 below.
This recipe comes from famed NYC bartender Phil Ward, who muddles watermelon chunks with cubed sugar and club soda before adding aged rum, lime juice and cayenne pepper and topping with more club soda. A pineapple-and-strawberry garnish provides a finishing flourish to the sweet-and-spicy drink.
Sparkling Watermelon Punch
Sunny-day drinks don’t get much more festive than this. The flesh from a mini watermelon gets tossed into a blender along with some mint and processed until smooth. The purée is then poured into the hollowed-out watermelon along with vodka, simple syrup, lime juice and sparkling wine before being topped off with some ice. Throw a couple of straws in there and sip.
You’re likely already familiar with the traditional Mojito. But in this fruity riff, the classic Cuban cocktail receives a summery twist with the addition of some muddled watermelon cubes and agave nectar taking the place of simple syrup. It also leaves out the usual soda water (but of course you can add it back in if you prefer and serve the drink in a highball rather than a rocks glass.) The resulting drink is a balanced mix of rum, lime, agave syrup, mint and watermelon—perfect for summertime.