This is such a good idea. And what a fantastic way to hang on to the last few weeks of summer with glasses filled to the brim with some Frozen Watermelon Lemonade.
I had quite a bit of watermelon left after another recipe I developed and decided to freeze the leftover chunks. I was thinking of doing a sorbet of some sort but drinks are always fun to create and the idea came to me on a very hot Friday afternoon. I looked at a few lemonade recipes and thought the watermelon would go well with all the zestiness of the lemonade and the colour would be pretty spectacular. Don’t skimp on all the lemon peel – you want that fresh zesty tang to come through otherwise the drink is overly sweet.
The frozen chunks of watermelon was a bit of a challenge. I found there was not enough liquid with the lemonade syrup to get my blender to break it down so had to get my food processor to do the work. I did it in 3 batches to make sure the chunks are all smashed finely. If you do not want to go through that hassle make sure the watermelon chunks have chilled for a few hours so they are ice cold. Also remove as much of the pips as you can – even though you pass it through a sieve the food processor breaks down the pips finely and they can end up in the drink.
What I love about this recipe is that you have so many ways of serving it. Keep it as a slushy of the mixed watermelon and lemonade or top it up with soda water for more of a cool drink. Make it festive and top up half a glass of the mix with some bubbly or go the cocktail route and top it up with rum, tequila or vodka. The options are really endless.
- 1.5kg watermelon, peeled and cut into chunks and frozen overnight
- 120g sugar
- 450ml water
- zest (use vegetable peeler and do not remove any of the white pith with the zest) and juice of 4 medium to large lemons
- pinch of salt
- soda water or spirits to top up as per your preference
- Make the syrup by placing the sugar, water and zest in a saucepan.
- Bring it all to the boil while stirring and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and salt.
- Cover and let it infuse until completely cooled down.
- Pour through a sieve to remove the lemon peel.
- Place a third of the watermelon chunks and lemon syrup in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and slush like.
- Repeat with the rest of the watermelon and syrup.
- Pass it through a sieve to remove any possible watermelon pips.
- Serve as a frozen drink or top up with soda water, sparkling wine or spirits as you prefer