This easy watermelon limeade, made with fresh watermelon, lime juice, and sugar, is our go-to summer thirst quencher.
Wow! This watermelon limeade recipe is a real thirst-quencher during the dog days of summer when watermelon is at its best. It also makes a wonderful margarita mixer when paired with premium white tequila.–Emeril Lagasse
Watermelon Limeade FAQs
How can I tell when a watermelon is ripe?
This is a common question, and there are a few tricks and tips that David can teach you. The first tip? Pick it up. A watermelon should be heavy for its size. Need more? Check out “How to Tell if a Watermelon is Ripe” for a quick tutorial before you head to the store.
How much alcohol should I add to make a watermelon limeade cocktail?
You should pour about 1.5 ounces of your liquor of choice per tall glass, if you’re mixing drinks. Vodka, rum, or tequila are particularly delicious.
- 8 cups cubed watermelon seeds removed
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 10 limes)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar or more to taste
- Lime slices or wedges for garnish (optional)
- Mint sprigs for garnish (optional)
- Place half the watermelon cubes in a blender and process until smooth. Transfer the melon slush to a fine-mesh sieve placed over a large bowl and discard the solids. Repeat with the remaining watermelon. You should end up with about 1 quart (4 cups) juice.
- Add the lime juice and sugar to the strained watermelon juice and stir until the sugar dissolves. Taste and add more sugar, if desired.
- Transfer the limeade to a nonreactive large pitcher and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, which should take at least an hour. Serve in tumblers and garnish with lime slices or mint sprigs, if desired.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This watermelon limeade was both delicious and simple—a perfect combo for a hot summer day. Plus, it was a beautiful, lush pink color with a surprising, unexpected flavor. No one guessed it was watermelon.
I sped up the process by placing the watermelon in the fridge to chill before cutting it into chunks, and again after cutting them up and while straining. Because I was uncertain about the chilling time, I made this the night before. When I checked it in the morning, it had separated, but this was no cause for concern—I just stirred it up, and it didn’t separate again when serving a few hours later.
This is a sitting-on-the-veranda, watching-the-sunlight-dappling-through-the-trees kind of drink. It’s refreshing enough to gulp down, but has enough flavor to grab your attention.
That said, although I was transported, my husband was on the fence with the bizarre excuse of not being keen on watermelon—that is, until I splashed in some tequila.
I should confess that I changed the quantities slightly. I wouldn’t have needed to if I had a sun-ripened melon, but in using a supermarket mini-sized one, the drink was lovely but uninspired. I wanted to really taste the watermelon, so I doubled the quantity, using 16 cups of diced watermelon to the cup of lime juice and 1/2 cup of sugar. With my extra melon, I got 12 tumblers full that chilled in just over an hour.
Doubling is highly recommended, and don’t forget the tequila for those who need a little extra pizzazz.
Originally published July 28, 2010