Watermelon Mint Cordial and Sparkling Watermelon Cooler

by Patricia Eddy on August 30, 2011

Sparkling Watermelon Cooler and Watermelon Mint Cordial

If there’s one fruit that screams summer, it is watermelon.Who doesn’t have a memory of a watermelon seed spitting contest or eating a triangle of perfectly ripe watermelon over the sink with juices dripping down your chin? The melon season is going strong here in Washington and we’ve been getting some beautiful watermelons and cantaloupes this year. But what do you do when you get a melon that’s just not quite ripe enough to be perfect? You look for recipes that feature the melon, but add some other flavors to make up for what the melon lacks on its own.

We recently picked up the book Homemade Soda, and we immediately started flipping through the book looking for ideas. As it turned out, there were two watermelon recipes listed and we had enough melon for both of them! So we started chopping, blending, straining, and mixing. A few minutes later, we had two delicious, refreshing, and sweet glasses of summer perfection.

Watermelon Mint Cordial from Homemade Soda

  • 1 pound watermelon, rind removed and cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar, honey, or simple syrup
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
Steps
  1. Combine the watermelon, agave nectar, mint leaves, and white wine vinegar in a blender.
  2. Process until smooth.
  3. Strain the puree over a bowl and discard the pulp.
  4. Mix equal parts watermelon mint cordial and sparkling water. Garnish with a mint leaf.
  5. Refrigerate unused portion for up to a week.
Sparkling Watermelon Cooler adapted from Homemade Soda
  • 4 pounds of watermelon, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
Steps
  1. Process the watermelon and water in a blender until smooth.
  2. Strain the puree in a fine sieve over a bowl and discard the pulp.
  3. Mix 2/3 watermelon juice with 1/3 sparkling water
Notes: Both of these drinks were excellent, but I preferred the watermelon mint cordial. It was almost like a shrub, with the white wine vinegar, and I think it was more refreshing. The sparkling watermelon cooler was thicker, and probably could have been strained a second or third time to remove more pulp. Both drinks masked the fact that the watermelon was just a day or so shy of being perfectly ripe. Once blended and strained, the watermelon juice was perfectly sweet – even in the sparkling watermelon cooler with no added sugar.
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