Watermelon- what an obvious fruit to make juice from! It’s naturally “watery” and the subtle flavor is extraordinarily refreshing. Paired with lemon? Of course. It reminds me of being a kid in the summertime, specifically because I used to frequent a shop called Gina’s Italian Ice and I would most often order a lemon watermelon ice mix; it was my favorite blend and so delicious!
Watermelon & lemons make a great couple; last time I remember drinking them together was years ago at Wishbone and I just loved it! It might have taken a few years but finally I tried to recreate it on my own — it couldn’t be difficult to make this combination taste good. I know it will quickly become a regular summer drink at our house. It doesn’t have to be an exact science but here is how I did it…
lemons, watermelon, simple syrup
For this batch I used 1/2 of a medium sized “seedless” watermelon to yield 3 cups of pure juice. I chopped the watermelon up in to cubes, it turned out to be about 8 cups of watermelon chunks. A seemingly easier idea was to blend the watermelon and pour it through a mesh sieve to separate the juice from the fiber. Once I loaded up the blender I turned it on only to find that it wasn’t going to blend quite the way I imagined. I would have to add water to get it going and I didn’t want to do that; I wanted pure juice to start! Plus, I used a “seedless” watermelon, but, if I had a regular watermelon I wouldn’t want to blend it up with all of it’s seeds. With or without seeds I feared that the meat would blend too much creating a mealy texture instead of liquid.
Change of plans and back to my first method idea- potato masher! Perfect! It worked just as I imagined and was fun to do. It would be ideal for a regular Seedy Watermelon as well ;) I used a huge measuring cup as my mashing bowl, it had a flat bottom and a pouring spout which was especially helpful when I was collecting all of the juice.
I did a few rounds of mashing. Once a bit of liquid began to pool at the bottom of the container, I poured it through a sieve into a holding vessel. Repeat the mash and pour until you are satisfied with the amount of juice you have gained. Set pulp aside — we didn’t end up using the pulp, so if you have any inventive ideas on how to use it or incorporate it (Italian ice?) let us know!
Cut your lemons in half and juice! We used 4 lemons to get us about 1 cup of juice. You could use a little less if you prefer it to be less sour. I wanted a full cup to increase the volume of my drink. This would give me 4 full cups of pure fresh juice!
Pour the watermelon juice into some sort of pitcher and add your lemon juice — give it a taste. I added 2/3 cup of cold water to mellow the lemon a bit as well as 2-3 tablespoons of simple syrup. Stir up and serve over ice or chill it in the refrigerator until drinking time!
This is a great summer afternoon juice and easily can be converted into an adult beverage by adding a few ounces of rum (that’s what we did)!
Side note :: why buy simple syrup when you can make it yourself? To make your own simple syrup, boil one part water and lower heat, slowly pour in 2 parts sugar continuously mixing until sugar is completely dissolved. Let it cool off and pour into a container to keep.