5 Watermelon Cocktails for Summertime Parties

Watermelon is one of my favorite summertime fruits. Not only is it the perfect finger food, it is exceptionally versatile and can be made into fruit salads, salsas, sandwiches, smoothies, and sorbets. Due to its high water content, watermelon is also a great choice for summertime cocktails.

I was in my early 20s the first time I had a watermelon cocktail. It was love at first sip. The concoction was called Trash Can Punch and consisted of Everclear, Vodka, and Hawaiian Punch. It was served in a metal trash can with an array of fresh fruit chunks floating on top. The natural sweetness of the melon dampened the intense flavor of the alcohol and made for a smooth, refreshing beverage with a kick.

Over the years, I’ve experimented with several types of alcohol combined with watermelon juice. I’ve created alcohol-infused whole watermelons, watermelon margaritas, watermelon daiquiris, and a variety of watermelon punches. These cocktails are always a hit at pool parties and cook-outs, and are a unique choice for summer weddings.

Today, I’d like to share my top 5 watermelon cocktails for summertime parties. Keep in mind these cocktails are smooth and it’s easy to forget how much alcohol they contain. Remember to drink responsibly and have a designated driver on hand.

Watermelon Trash Can Punch
Servings: 48
Prep Time: 15 minutes

Watermelon trash can punch is served in a new metal trash can. If you don’t want to purchase a can this punch can be served in a large punch bowl. For maximum flavor, make the punch a day ahead of the party to allow fruits to absorb the alcohol.

This recipe calls for Everclear pure grain alcohol. Due to its high alcohol content a lot of people find it too potent. For those who prefer a milder taste, Everclear can be substituted with rum, whiskey, or bourbon.

Ingredients:

2 (750 ml.) bottles Everclear 190 proof
2 (750 mil.) bottles Vodka 100 proof
12 (12 oz.) cans frozen Hawaiian Punch concentrate, thawed
1 whole Watermelon, cut into wedge slices
12 Oranges, sliced
12 Kiwi fruit, skin removed, sliced into 1/2″ rounds cut in half
2 quarts whole Strawberries, washed, stems removed, and cut in half
2 pounds Green or Red grapes
2 (7 pound) bags Ice

Directions:

1. Wash and dry new trash can.
2. Pour in Everclear, Vodka, and Hawaiian Punch concentrate.
3. Prepare fruit and add to punch mix.
4. Add 1 bag of ice and let set for at least 1 hour. Add more ice throughout the day as needed.

Note: Do not add ice when making a day ahead. Instead, add 1 bag of ice 30 minutes prior to serving and refresh as needed.

Watermelon Margarita
Servings: 24
Prep Time: 15 minutes

I always have leftover watermelon puree when making this cocktail. I freeze the puree in ice cube trays and mix with the cocktail. You can also place Popsicle sticks in the center of the puree once it is partially frozen. The frozen watermelon puree makes great treats for kids and adults.

Ingredients:

6 cups seedless Watermelon, pureed
5 cups Tequila
1-1/2 cups Triple Sec Orange Liqueur
3 cups freshly squeezed Lime Juice
4 Oranges, cut into 24 slices
4 Limes, cut into 24 slices

Directions:

1. Remove rind from watermelon and slice into small chunks. Add chunks to blender and puree until smooth.
2. Combine watermelon puree with tequila, orange liqueur and lime juice.
3. Add 2 cups ice cubes to blender pitcher. Fill with margarita mixture and blend until frothy.
4. Lightly salt rims of margarita glasses. Fill with watermelon margarita and garnished with 1 orange and 1 lime slice. Serve immediately.

Watermelon Daiquiri
Servings: 12
Prep Time: 30 minutes

Watermelon Daiquiri is made with a combination of vanilla liqueur, rum, watermelon, simple syrup, and lemon juice. There are several brands of vanilla liqueur. Some are made with brandy, others with cognac and some are a combination of brandy and vodka. This product can be costly, so it’s best to comparison shop to obtain the best deal.

Simple syrup can be purchased at liquor stores, but it is easy to prepare at home. A good source for simple syrup and flavored simple syrup recipes is About.com.

Ingredients:

36 medium chunks Watermelon, rind removed
6 ounces Vanilla Liqueur
12 ounces Gold Rum
1-1/2 cups Simple Syrup
1-1/2 cups freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
12 Watermelon triangles with rind for garnish

Directions:

1. Using a mojito muddler, muddle watermelon chunks until smooth.
2. In a large pitcher, combine watermelon with remaining ingredients and stir until ingredients are incorporated.
3. Fill martini shaker with daiquiri mix. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with watermelon triangle.

Watermelon Vodka Martini
Servings: 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups Vodka
36 medium chunks Watermelon, rind removed
12 Watermelon triangles with rind for garnish

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, muddle Watermelon until smooth.
2. Add vodka and mix well.
3. Fill martini shaker halfway with ice.
4. Add 2 cups vodka martini mixture. Shake well and strain into martini glass. Garnish with watermelon triangle and serve immediately.

Tropical Watermelon Fruit Cocktail
Servings: 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 whole Watermelon, rind removed
3 cups Coconut Rum
1/2 cup Banana Liqueur
1-1/3 cups Pineapple juice
2 (15 ounce) cans Peaches, halved
12 cups crushed Ice
12 Maraschino cherries, optional

Directions:

1. Cut watermelon into medium chunks.
2. In large bowl, combine watermelon with spirits, pineapple juice, and peaches.
3. Add 4 cups crushed ice to blender pitcher. Add 4 cups cocktail mixture.
4. On high setting, blend until smooth.
5. Serve in a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry if desired.

Sources:
About.com: Simple Syrup Recipes
National Watermelon Promotion Board

More from this Contributor:
The Wonderful World of Watermelon