I love watermelon, and I love serving it as part of a summer menu. (Does it get any easier? Slice, cover, refrigerate, uncover, serve.) I usually need more than a personal-size watermelon to feed my guests, but Dr. O and I seem to have a heck of a time finishing the leftovers from a full-size watermelon on our own. Thankfully, I found a delicious solution: Watermelon Lemonade. It’s pretty simple to make and it keeps in the refrigerator for three days. Here’s the recipe:
2 lemons, quartered
1 cup fresh mint leaves (mine were loosely packed)
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 medium seedless watermelon (about 9 pounds), rind removed, flesh cut into chunks
1 cup vodka (optional)
Squeeze lemons into a large pitcher; add squeezed lemon quarters. Add mint and sugar; mash with a wooden spoon until mint is bruised and sugar is dissolved.
In a blender, purée watermelon in batches until smooth; pour through a fine-mesh sieve into pitcher (you should have about 8 cups of juice). Stir to combine. Refrigerate, covered, up to 3 days. Add vodka, if using; serve over ice.
Source: Everyday Food, July 2008
Refreshing and deeeeelicious. Watermelon is absolutely the dominant flavor here. The drink is sweet from the watermelon and the brown sugar, and while you can taste the lemon and the mint, neither are overwhelming. We tried it with and without vodka and enjoyed it both ways.
My only complaints are: (1) they say it takes 5 minutes to make this (maybe if your watermelon is already cut and you can get it puréed in just two batches), and (2) the lemonade does separate over time in the pitcher (easy enough to solve with a quick stir before serving). It’s tasty and perfect for summer, though!
Recipe link: Watermelon Lemonade