Let’s cut straight to the chase. Picture it: you, lounging in a chair outside (it doesn’t matter where…the deck, porch, sidewalk, beach, yard…), the sun shining bright, the breeze blowing, and you’ve got a refreshing and cool watermelon mint cocktail in hand. What could be better?
On a hot summer day, absolutely nothing is better. Except of course the fact that you also have more of the batched cocktail in your fridge, just waiting to refill your glass at a moment’s notice.
This cocktail recipe is going to rock your summer world, for happy hours with friends, for time spent by the pool (kiddie pool or a full-fledged in-ground pool, it doesn’t matter), a pre-dinner drink that’s refreshing and not-too-sweet. It checks all the boxes. And you’ll love how absolutely easy it is to make. Let’s get to sipping!
What You’ll Need for this Summer Cocktail
The beauty of this recipe is that you only need 5 simple ingredients and in no time you’ll have a refreshing cocktail to enjoy. It’s fresh, bright, and one-of-a-kind.
- Fresh Watermelon: be sure to find the freshest in-season watermelon you can find to make this cocktail shine. You’ll want to snack on it and garnish it with fresh watermelon, too, so having one that’s perfectly ripe and juicy is ideal! We will be using watermelon to make the juice for the cocktail.
- Fresh Mint: my favorite thing about growing fresh mint in my garden is that it’s always on hand when it’s cocktail hour. You can use spearmint or peppermint for this recipe.
- Vodka: use your favorite vodka for this beverage.
- Simple Syrup: easily make your own simple syrup by simmering together water and sugar. You can also buy simple syrup at the grocery store with drink mixes, but I find it’s always cheaper and more delicious to make your own at home.
- Pssst: we’re really making mint simple syrup, so if you already have it on hand, you’re good to go!
- Seltzer or Club Soda: added for a little fizz and to lighten the cocktail up, more or less can be used depending on your preferences.
How to Make a Watermelon Cocktail
This recipe was originally published in 2016 and it’s been a favorite ever since. Since upgrading to a Vitamix, I’ve adjusted the recipe for ease and blended the watermelon to create the juice. I will be adding the original directions in the recipe card (as seen in the video) if you don’t have a blender or if you just don’t feel like using it.
Either method works great, and the result is the same: a deliciously refreshing vodka cocktail with watermelon.
First, make a batch of the cocktail mixture. Start by blending watermelon until pureed (or extracting the juice through a mesh strainer as noted in the recipe card for those without blenders). The pulp will remain in the juice, and I recommend straining it out for the smoothest cocktail consistency.
Use a fine-mesh strainer to remove the pulp from the watermelon juice. Strain it into a pitcher or large measuring cup to make the next step a breeze.
To the watermelon juice, add vodka and simple syrup. As noted, to make the simple syrup simply simmer water and sugar together until dissolved. For ease, add mint leaves to the mixture as it simmers and the syrup will be infused with mint (hello, mint syrup!), removing the step of muddling the mint leaves into the cocktail.
Now that the alcohol and simple syrup have been added to the juice, the base of the cocktail is ready. From here, you can serve 4 cocktails immediately, or pour one and store the remaining cocktail mix in the fridge until you’re ready for a refill.
To assemble the cocktail, add ice to a tumbler and pour in the watermelon juice cocktail mixture. Top it off with club soda (to taste) and garnish with additional watermelon cubes and mint.
It’s truly that easy! Now all that’s left to do is soak up the sunshine and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Look for a watermelon with a large discolored part on one side, usually, it’s yellow. This is a field spot and indicates the watermelon sat untouched while it ripened. It should be heavy for its size and sound hollow when you knock on it. Rounder melons are often sweeter, too.
Yes, you can prepare the cocktail mixture with the watermelon juice up to 3 days in advance. Be sure to store it in an airtight container in the fridge. When ready to serve, simply assemble the cocktails and enjoy!
Yes, in fact, when the recipe was first published I didn’t have a blender either. Check out the recipe card and/or video to make this recipe without one.
More Refreshing Cocktail Recipes
Get the Recipe Watermelon Mint Cocktail
Mint Simple Syrup
- ½ cup mint leaves, tightly packed
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- 2 cups fresh watermelon, resulting in 1 cup juice
- ½ cup vodka
- 2 cups club soda or seltzer
- Mint Simple Syrup: In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and mint leaves. Bring to a simmer for about 3 minutes until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside and let cool, infusing more as needed. Strain and let cool before using.
- Add watermelon to a blender and blend on medium-high until pureed. Use a fine mesh strainer to remove the pulp from the juice, straining the juice into a pitcher or large measuring cup.
- To the juice, add 1/2 cup of the mint simple syrup and vodka. Stir to combine.
- Assemble the cocktail by filling a glass with ice and adding 1/2 cup of the cocktail mixture. Top off the cocktail with approximately 1/2 cup club soda (more or less to taste). Garnish with additional watermelon cubes and fresh mint as desired.