When the heat of summer hits, there is nothing quite like a Fresh Watermelon Martini to help you through the dog days of summer. Cold, light and so refreshing.
Although this recipe for a Fresh Watermelon Martini Cocktail traditionally calls for orange liqueur, I’ve included Limoncello in this cocktail.
Traditionally I use the orange liqueur but when you’ve made your own Limoncello…well, can you blame me? The watermelon I got was so tiny and so ripe that any addition of simple syrup would have been overkill.
Still, use your own judgement, if you need a bit more sweetener go ahead and add some simple syrup (boil equal amounts of sugar and water until the sugar dissolves and then cool).
I like all of my drinks a bit on the tart side but I have friends who go sweeter; a quick dose or two of simple syrup makes those variances easy to prepare.
Like many cocktails that include a seasonal fruit, this one requires patience. Patience as in, don’t be fooled by watermelons that are in the market in May. Getting a fresh local fruit in July can make all the difference.
I’m posting this early so that planners can put it on their calendar but I strongly suggest you hold off actually making it until watermelon month in July; when fresh, juicy, sweet watermelons are at their peak.
How to determine if you have found a great watermelon? These are some good indicators:
- Find the field spot, it should be a yellowish creamy color on the outside where the watermelon was resting on the ground.
- Pick a dull looking watermelon; shiny melons are not yet ripe.
- Knock on it with your knuckles; the surface should be hard/firm. A dull thud indicates the flesh inside is getting soft…put that one back!
- Get the heaviest one for its size; water is heavy and a lot of water in a watermelon is a good indicator!
- Check for uniform shape – round or oval is fine…but irregular edges might indicate an inconsistent water source
If you saw my recent post for a Lemon Drop Martini (if not, go there…the best I’ve ever had!) than you know I’m enamored with these sugar crystals I used on the rim.
They’re typically used for decorating cake and cookies but I just love them for this purpose. They not only look pretty but I enjoy the tactile nature of them, something a bit crunchy and sweet is nice.
You can find Sparkling Sugars in several colors at Michael’s and on Amazon (affiliate link); they are great for cocktails and cookies! Combining them with some kosher salt makes for a nice mix with the watermelon (and what I ALWAYS do with Margaritas) and made this Fresh Watermelon Martini a real winner!
By the way; if you are a ‘Martini’ purist and think it blasphemy to call this Watermelon Martini by that name, that’s fine, it’s your right.
But popular culture changes a lot of things and today, drinks served in a martini glass are often called martinis with nary a drop of gin in them. You call a ground beef patty a hamburger don’t you? Where’s the ham? 🙂
I’ve made lots of dishes and drinks with watermelon over the years; maybe one of these would interest you too? While I love them all, I have to say the Watermelon Salsa is surprising and a fantastic summer appetizer.
- Watermelon Mint Mojito
- Watermelon Frosé Cocktail
- Watermelon Salsa
- Watermelon Salad with Toasted Pecans and Gorgonzola Cheese
- Margarita Watermelon Slices
- Watermelon Cucumber Cocktail
- Strawberry, Basil, and Watermelon Smoothie
PIN IT! ‘Fresh Watermelon Martini’
Watermelon Martini Cocktail
For the Rim (Optional)
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup Kosher Salt
For the Cocktail
- 6 ounces fresh watermelon juice I used a seedless watermelon so mixed it in my food processor and then strained it through a metal strainer.
- 2 ½ ounces vodka
- 2 ½ ounces Limoncello
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice
- Watermelon wedges for garnish
- Chill 2-3 glasses in your fridge or freezer 10 minutes before making the cocktail.
- Combine the sugar and salt and spread it on a flat bread plate. Dampen the rim of your glass with water or lime juice and dip it in the sugar/salt mixture. (Save the leftover mixture for another occasion).
- Combine the watermelon juice, vodka, liqueur and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 6-8 times.
- Strain and pour the mixture into the prepared glasses and garnish with a watermelon wedge.