These watermelon drink recipes—from watermelon margaritas to watermelon smoothies—are just what you want to sip this summer. Plus, they’re perfect for using up all that extra fruit still sitting in your fridge after Labor Day.
Watermelon happens to be one of the most hydrating fruits around, and even eating it straight-up is often enough to quench your thirst in the bargain. But this juicy summer staple is also great in all kinds of watermelon cocktails (and mocktails).
So check out these 11 watermelon drinks when you’re feeling thirsty…and if you’re not yet, you will be by the time you finish reading.
The easiest way to make this summer produce all-star into a refreshing drink is to purée it. Add a pinch of salt to enhance the sweetness, and you’re all set. Freeze the chunks first and you have a slushy drink (which you can spike if you like, of course). Get our Watermelon Juice with Fleur de Sel recipe.
Vitamix E310 Explorian Blender, $349.95 from Sur La Table
Any blender will do the job, but a high-powered one will do it faster.
For a thinner drink, you can add water to the watermelon puree—plus some fresh lime juice for a tangy balance. This Spicy Watermelon Agua Fresca recipe suggests blending some peppers into the mix if you like a little heat.
Taking the previous ideas a step further: Watermelon purée is mixed with sugar, cherry-pit-flavored maraschino liqueur, and beer. Trust us, it’s delicious. Get our Summer Hoedown recipe. (Or try this watermelon beer cocktail recipe that swaps in Créole Shrubb liqueur for the Luxardo.)
Our Watermelon Margarita recipe makes a big batch, but this 3-ingredient Watermelon Margarita recipe is good for two (or seconds for you). If your watermelon isn’t perfectly sweet and ripe, you might need a bit of added sweetener.
Soju—the Asian spirit distilled from grain or sweet potatoes—keeps a low flavor profile here, letting sweet watermelon (and spicy ginger liqueur) rise to the top. Serve at your next backyard Korean barbecue (or any time, really). Get our Watermelon Soju Cocktail recipe.
Fresh herbs in cocktails are almost always a great idea, but the pairing of resinous rosemary and sweet watermelon is less than expected, to say the least. It’s also incredibly refreshing. Get the Rose Mary Cocktail recipe and see for yourself.
Watermelon and lemonade are two great tastes of summer that are even better together; combined with rum and fresh blackberries, this is destined to be a new favorite summer drink. Get our Watermelon Lemonade Cocktail recipe.
Fresh herbs make an appearance again, but this time it’s spicy basil, which is used more for its heady fragrance. The drink is otherwise pretty simple, but no less effective, with tequila, agave syrup, and lime juice along for the ride. Get the Zapatos Nuevos recipe.
Cooling fresh mint also works wonderfully well with watermelon. Get the Watermelon Mojito recipe.
For the morning after your watermelon cocktails, get the Strawberry Chia Watermelon Smoothie recipe and set things right again.
And no matter which watermelon drink you make, don’t throw away the rind; there are lots of watermelon rind recipes to make with it besides pickles.
Header image by Chowhound