We're into that part of summer where I just want to eat things that are light and require minimal cooking (what is cooking, even??), and drink cool, refreshing drinks. Watermelon is the perfect place to start, and a great base for a summer cocktail or mocktail. This Watermelon Mint Cocktail is made with vodka, but you could easily omit the alcohol and drink this as a nice, alcohol-free refresher!
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This Watermelon Mint Cocktail comes together with just a few ingredients.
- Seedless watermelon: you're going to make watermelon juice, so I highly recommend the seedless watermelon to save you the task of picking out the seeds!
- Vodka: I like to use Prairie Organic Vodka, but any vodka that you would enjoy sipping on will be good to use in a cocktail. If it's a vodka you wouldn't want to sip on, then it won't be good in a cocktail, either! Of course, if you're making a mocktail, omit the vodka.
- Lime juice: fresh-squeezed lemon juice is always the best!
- Simple syrup: this adds just a little sweetness to the drink. If you like, you can try a flavored simple syrup with this recipe.
- Mint leaves: you'll need quite a few as you'll muddle them to start off the cocktail, then use a few more for garnish.
- Sparkling water (optional): choose a sparkling water or tonic with a lot of carbonation -- it really helps to elevate the drink if you want to make it a bit lighter!
See full recipe below for detailed instructions.
This cocktail comes together in just a few easy steps.
Add your watermelon cubes to a blender and blend until you have a smooth juice.
Muddle the mint in the base of a cocktail shaker.
Add the juices, vodka, simple syrup, and ice to the shaker. Shake, then strain over ice in a rocks glass.
Top with sparkling water (optional), then garnish with watermelon balls or cubes and a fresh mint sprig.
Hint: the flavor of this drink comes from the mint and the watermelon, so be generous! Lots of mint + lots of watermelon = a much more flavorful cocktail.
There are several easy variations you can make to this cocktail for an entirely different experience:
- Use a flavored simple syrup - using a flavored simple syrup will introduce another flavor to the drink overall. Try something like this Blackberry Simple Syrup!
- Make it a mocktail - you can easily omit the vodka for a flavorful and beautiful mocktail! The sparkling water will really help elevate this and make the mocktail a little more interesting.
- Try a different spirit - making this cocktail with gin could be a great variation!
There are only a few things you'll need to bring this cocktail together. You'll need to use a blender to create the watermelon juice (I use this Cuisinart Blender), and a jigger to measure your alcohol and a cocktail shaker.
You'll also want a nice rocks glass to pour your cocktail into (I'm currently loving these Tour Glasses from Crate & Barrel).
Cocktails don't store well, so I suggest making them when you're ready to drink or serve them. The watermelon juice can be made in advance, but note that it will separate. This is ok - it will come back together as you're shaking the cocktail in the cocktail shaker!
Make sure to shake your drink vigorously! Shaking a cocktail not only mixes it (which, of course, is needed since the watermelon juice will naturally separate), but it also helps to cool the drink without watering it down too much.
Watermelon Mint Cocktail
- 2 cups seedless watermelon cubed
- 1 ½ ounces vodka
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- 1-2 teaspoons simple syrup
- fresh mint leaves
- sparkling water optional
- Add cubed watermelon to a blender and blend until smooth. You may need to crush some of the watermelon with your hands to have enough liquid content to get this started. Set aside (this will make enough watermelon juice for several cocktails).
- In the base of a cocktail shaker, muddle 8-10 mint leaves. Be generous with the mint! Add 3 ounces watermelon juice, vodka, lime juice, simple syrup and ice, and shake to combine. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
- Top with sparkling water (optional). Garnish with watermelon cubes or balls, a slice of lime and a fresh mint sprig. Serve immediately.