Gimme Some Oven

Watermelon Lemonade

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One of my favorite, favorite memories about my time living with my Costa Rican host family years ago was waking up each morning to the sound of my host mom blending up freshly made refrescos. Basically she would puree whatever fruit was onhand that day – from mangoes, to pineapples, to bananas, to papayas, to lemon/lime, etc. – and mix them with water (or occasionally milk) to make the family fresh juice. Mmmm. Now I might not have been the most enthusiastic fan eating black beans and rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day, but this was a custom I could get used to!! :)

Thus, when I found myself with a fabulous surplus of watermelon this week (what girl can pass up a sale on enormous, whole, ripe watermelon for $2.50 each??), thought it would be fun to revisit the tradition and mix the melon with some tart lemons to create a pitcher of juice for the day! Now, fun? It most definitely was. Last the entire day? Mmmmm…pretty sure it hardly made it through this photo shoot! Wonderfully irresistible. :)

So if you happen upon a great watermelon this week (or if even if you have some you need to use up that’s slightly overly- or under-ripe!), pull out your blender or food processor and join in the juicing fun Costa Rican-style! :)  Pura vida!


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Watermelon Lemonade

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  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 pitcher 1x


Great recipe for watermelon lemonade!


  • 1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups fresh watermelon puree, strained through a coarse strainer to remove seeds
  • 1/2 cup simple syrup (created by boiling 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup sugar together until sugar is dissolved)
  • 2 cups cold water


  1. Stir everything together, and serve over ice.  Feel free to garnish with lemon or watermelon slices, and/or mint!
  2. Sugar free: Any number of artificial sweeteners would work well here. (And many do not need to be boiled to dissolve, so you could just add them in directly.)
  3. Herbal: For an extra kick, add a sprig of fresh rosemary or mint leaves into the water as you boil the simple syrup.
  4. Bubbly: Substitute setlzer or sparkling water (or champagne!) for some extra fizz!
  5. Mixed: Substitute some vodka or other mixer of choice to kick it up a notch!
  6. Frozen: I imagine this would be fantastic as a slush! Or, it freezes nicely into sweet little popsickles or ice cubes. :)


Adapted from Smitten Kitchen


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10 comments on “Watermelon Lemonade”

  1. Hi Ali,
    I love all your recipes, helpful tips, and beautifulllll images! What camera do you have? I need to upgrade to a better one for my cross stitch images. I like to stage like you do inside. Are you editing in your iphoto?
    Also I want to know whooooo gets to eat all these scrumptious goodies you make???? They are lucky!!!
    I just forwarded this site to Ryan + Lindsey for inspiration…hmmm what should I cook today???
    Love you! SE

  2. Hello, hello! :) I actually traded my two latest point-and-shoot digital cameras for a DSLR on Craigslist this summer. Purchased a used Canon XSi, and have been trying to learn how in the world to use it!! Never even knew what aperture was until recently… :S

    Anyway, yes I’m doing some editing in iPhoto, and then some in Photoshop Elements. (Couldn’t find room in the budget yet for the “real” Photoshop. :-)) My biggest problem is lighting. I only have one window that seems to work well for natural light…but I imagine your house would be great for that!

    Good luck!! I need to take a lesson from you on making those famous rolls soon… :)

  3. Ali, this sounds amazing and I’m wishing I could do something similar with Lilikoi or Passion Fruit, which I fell in love with in Hawaii! Your pictures are fantastic! I love how you use a background color to complement the color of the photo subject.

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