A variation on the Cosmopolitan Cocktail, this tasty Watermelon Martini is bright, fresh and perfect for summer! Mocktail instructions are also included.
Today’s recipe was supposed to be a watermelon popsicle. But after three attempts came out tasting like watermelon rind, I needed a new idea to join my friends in a big watermelon bash (see more recipes below).
In the end, I adapted my Cranberry Martini to create a tasty and fun Watermelon Martini that practically shouts summer. And it was a perfect excuse to lounge on the deck to enjoy a beautiful afternoon. Really, there’s nothing like a fruit martini in summer!
So I guess, here’s a toast to failure!
What is a Watermelon Martini?
A Watermelon Martini is a vodka martini made with watermelon juice, vodka, Cointreau (or another orange liqueur) and lime juice.
It could also be called a Watermelon Cosmopolitan (or Cosmo), since it’s basically the same recipe, but made with watermelon juice instead of cranberry juice. This makes it a bit lighter and less intensely sweet. Perfect for summer!
I did have to make one tweak from the classic Cosmo and that was to use a higher ratio of watermelon juice and eliminate the orange juice. I found that the more delicate watermelon flavor couldn’t hold up to the orange as well as cranberry juice. And a watermelon cocktail should taste of watermelon, right!
Why You’ll Love This!
Tasty. Lightly sweet, fruity and refreshing, this is a perfect summer beverage. Almost like a Watermelon Cosmo–yum!
Easy. You simply puree watermelon and sugar, add a few ingredients, shake and you’re done.
Simple Ingredients. While many sweet martinis call for simple syrup, this blends the sugar with the watermelon, avoiding an extra step or ingredient purchase.
What You’ll Need
- Watermelon. Seedless is easier, or you can remove the seeds from seeded.
- Sugar or sweetener. To sweeten.
- Vodka. This provides part of the alcohol. You can use orange juice for a mocktail.
- Cointreau. This provides orange flavor and alcohol. You can use another orange liqueur. Use orange juice for a mocktail.
- Lime Juice. This adds flavor.
- You’ll need a blender or food processor to puree the watermelon.
- A kitchen scale will be helpful to get the right amount of watermelon but I have an alternative method.
- A cocktail shaker is nice, but you can stir with ice in a glass, then remove the ice.
Step by Step Directions
Make the watermelon syrup. Puree about 7 ounces (by weight) of watermelon chunks with 1-2 Tablespoons of sugar (depending your sweetness preferences). Let the blender run a minute to make sure the sugar is dissolved. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to get ¾ cup of watermelon syrup.
Juice the lime.
Put the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and add ice. Shake until the outside of the shaker is cold and starting to sweat.
Strain into two martini glasses and garnish as desired.
How to Serve
Sweet martinis like this Watermelon Martini are delicious served for cocktail hour or after dinner drinks! And they’d be lots of fun at any summer themed event like a nicer picnic or pool party! I’d even serve them at a pre-season football game!
Martinis look best served in pretty martini glasses—though I wouldn’t let not owning the right barware stop me from making them!
For this drink, look for a glass that is a little smaller. It ends up about 5 ounces when finished and many of today’s martini glasses are huge.
How to garnish
A garnish is completely optional, but I consider it part of the fun of making cocktails! I show three different options today. First, I use a small wedge of watermelon—go thin and small if you try this so it hangs on to the glass.
Second, I use a simple slice of lime, with or without a lavender flower. And finally I do an herb (mint or lemon balm work well) and flower combo.
You might also consider serving with a sugared rim. To do this, you can run a lime juice or Cointreau coated finger around the outside rim. Then make a small pile of sugar and set the rim into it, turning until the whole rim is covered
Truly, your imagination is the only limit!
Entertaining kids or teetotalers? For a tasty watermelon mocktail, replace the Cointreau and vodka with orange juice. No reason everyone can’t join in the fun. Or just go with Watermelon Juice!
Barbie themed party? I was pretty happy with the rosy-pink color this turned out. But for a more intense pink, you can puree a couple fresh or frozen cherries with the watermelon.
Tips & FAQs
Do you know the old saying “a pint’s a pound, the world around”? Well, this refers to the fact that a pint of water weighs one pound. And because watermelon is mostly water, a pound of watermelon, pureed equals one pint. Or a half pound (8 ounces) equals a cup. Of course, since the puree is strained you need to start with a little more.
What if I don’t have a scale to weigh the watermelon? If you don’t have a scale, just puree enough so that you end up with ¾ cup after straining. It’s about a soup bowl full of “chunks.”
Wild About Watermelon
- Frozen Tropical Watermelon Aqua Fresca from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Gelo di Melone from Pandemonium Noshery
- Spicy Watermelon Rind Pickle from Magical Ingredients
- Tropical Watermelon Cucumber Salad from That Recipe
- Watermelon Martini from Art of Natural Living
- Watermelon Rum and Sparkling Wine Cocktail from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- 7 ounces watermelon chunks weighed without the rind—see note
- 1-2 Tablespoons sugar or equivalent sweetener
- 1 ½ ounces vodka or orange juice for mocktail
- 1 ½ ounces Cointreau or orange juice for mocktail
- 1 ounce lime juice
- Make the watermelon syrup. Puree about 7 ounces (by weight) of watermelon chunks with 1-2 Tablespoons of sugar (depending your sweetness preferences). Let the blender run a minute to make sure the sugar is dissolved. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to get ¾ cup of watermelon syrup.
- Juice the lime.
- Put the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and add ice. Shake until the outside of the shaker is cold and starting to sweat.
- Strain into two martini glasses and garnish as desired.
- Serve immediately.
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