Fresh Watermelon Martini Cocktail

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.

Watermelon Martini Garnished with Watermelon Slice

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.

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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
Closeup of Watermelon Martini with Sugared Rim and Garnished with Watermelon Slice

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.

More Watermelon!

PIN IT! ‘Fresh Watermelon Martini’

Watermelon Martini Garnished with Watermelon Slice
Closeup of Watermelon Martini with Sugared Rim and Garnished with Watermelon Slice
Watermelon Martini Garnished with Watermelon Slice

Watermelon Martini Cocktail

A perfect cocktail for summer with fresh, juicy watermelon. Seedless are best for making this cocktail!
4.17 from 50 or more votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Cocktails, Vodka
Cuisine American
Servings 2 cocktails
Calories 240 kcal


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.


Nutrition Facts
Watermelon Martini Cocktail
Serving Size
1 Cocktail
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword cocktail, watermelon
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. 1 star
    Too much limoncello for my taste. Next time I’ll adjust the liqueur down. Otherwise, okay. Just personal preference on the limoncello, but the recipe gives me a base.

    1. Personal preference but it equates to a one star review? That’s pretty harsh but it’s the ‘internet’ so anything goes!

    1. They are pretty and tasty…sort of the perfect summer cocktail huh? I’m off to have one now even. Wish you could join me!

    1. It really is Katie; though it should come with a warning…it goes down very easy especially when it’s hot. I should have definitely done more sipping and less drinking. 🙂

  2. I love and really like to enjoy this type of cocktail. I love my mom also, she always ready to do anything for me at anytime.

  3. Ugh, food poisoning? I hope you’re up to eating and drinking soon…but till then, I may have to sip on one of Gwen’s gorgeous martinis in your place…..mmmmmm.

    1. Yes…and ugh it has been. Really only deathly ill for one day but now a week of feeling bleh. A bit better every day but just amazed at the havoc that little bug wrought for me! I know I’m ready for a drink. Stat.

      1. 5 stars
        Lovely cocktail. I used a m Lin baller for the watermelon. Had coconut rum to use in place of vodka. I rimmed half the glass with red decorating sugar and salt. I like doing half the glass as some people don’t want the extra salt or sugar and they still get the pretty look.
        I did add a little simple syrup to make a little sweeter. Look forward to making again and I’ll try it with vodka.

  4. Since I saw this come across my Twitter feed the other day, I’ve been meaning to come over to fully check it out. I wanted this drink at 9am that day!! First, I’m so sorry to hear about your bout of food poisoning 🙁 That’s awful! Hope you’re feeling better these days. Secondly, I’m headed right over to Gwen’s site to lay my eyes all over this wonderful watermelon martini. xoxo

  5. I have about 15 watermelon seed going right now, I’ll be keeping this in mind; can’t think of anything better a martini to use up a watermelon.

  6. The watermelon martini looks refreshing! Sorry to hear about the food poisoning. Was it from eating at home or at a restaurant? What food caused the infection? Dr Stueven

    1. I did it to myself. That dish that set out…that one with cauliflower with cheese? Oh yeah…under that cheese WAS some mayo. Was sick within 90 minutes of having a couple of bites. DUMB. All my very own fault.

  7. Hi Barb!

    Ugh… I am so sorry you’ve had a case of FP…. definitely no fun and I hope you are taking care of yourself!!! That martini is gorgeous and sounds like the perfect summer cocktail.. hopefully you’ll be enjoying one very soon!!

  8. Poor, Barb..I’ve been through food poisoning and it was so bad it landed me in the hospital on IV fluids because I couldn’t keep anything down. Glad yours hasn’t reached those proportions, but it sucks no matter what. That said, I adore Gwen and her blog..what a fantastic, refreshing martini..the color is beautiful. As always, I need to pop over there 🙂

  9. I’m sorry that you had food poisoning and hope you are coming around to feeling more like yourself. This martini from Gwen looks wonderful and with temps at only 0 here today with high winds, I’m imagining sipping this out on a sun-drenched deck 😉

  10. What a beautiful drink, so amazing, the picture is so gorgeous I wish I could reach my hand through the computer screen and grab it. So sorry about the FP, I had it last year, tainted cantaloupe it’s no fun for sure. Feel better!

  11. Oh wow! My mouth is watering. What a beautiful drink. I hope you are feeling better Barb. I think you are kind of like me and will eat anything once so the odds are good that food poisoning just might get us sooner or later. Sorry it got you, but maybe you are done with it now.

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