Earth-Inspired Eats — Refreshing Watermelon Lemonade
By Meghan Rodgers
August 18, 2020
Before we know it, summer will be over. Next week marks back-to-school month for many families, and September in general signals an end to that free-spirited, sun-soaked, casual fun we long for all year. While this summer will be remembered as far from stellar—with its cancelled beach trips, weddings, concerts, and pretty much every other social event—if we’re lucky, we can say it at least gave us a little quality time with our family or with ourselves.
Fortunately, we still have a few weeks before clocks change and weather cools, and who know what happens with schools. In the meantime, I’m headed for my front porch to forget about it all for a few moments and enjoy an ice cold glass of this refreshing homemade Watermelon Lemonade.
The watermelon and lemon combination is seriously thirst quenching—just what we need for one of the hottest summers on record. It’s incredibly easy to make, but it’s a wallet-friendly and eco-friendly choice, too.
I was guilty for years of paying nearly four dollars for a half gallon jug of the store-bought stuff—and what’s worse, I was wasting plastic in the process. Did you know, according to the Earth Day Network, the average American purchases about 13 plastic bottles per month! Single use plastics like lemonade and beverage bottles frequently don’t make it to the recycling center and end up in landfills or in our waterways and oceans.
In an effort to cut back on my single use plastics, I identified beverages as an easy make-at-home category.
Besides saving the environment, another great part of making your own drinks, like this Watermelon Lemonade, is that you can control the sugar and the pulp. Watermelon is sweet enough as it is, so you might choose to leave out the sweetener entirely. Love pulp? Once you squeeze the juice through the cheesecloth (or skip this step entirely), add some of that delicious fiber back in, and make sure you leave some lemon pulp for that true lemonade authentic texture.
And, let’s be honest, after a summer like this one, a splash of rum couldn’t hurt either.
So kick back and enjoy this recipe, with or without alcohol, and savor the last days of summer, no matter how strange this one has seemed.
Refreshing Watermelon Lemonade
6 cups chopped seedless watermelon, chilled
4 cups cold water
3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, chilled
2/3 cups Stevia, or sugar
Ice for serving
Fresh mint for garnish
1/2 cups rum or vodka (optional)
What else you will need
Cheese cloth or fine mesh strainer
Gallon jug or punch bowl
1. Add watermelon to blender and puree on high until liquified.
2. Line a gallon jug or punch bowl with cheese cloth or fine mesh strainer. Pour liquids through cloth. Gather up sides and squeeze, forcing out as much juice as possible. Discard pulp or use in composting.
3. Add lemon juice, cold water, stevia, and stir until well blended. Taste and add more sugar or stevia if desired.
4. Pour over ice (add a shot of your favorite alcohol here, if desired) and serve with a fresh spring of mint. Leftovers will stay delicious in refrigerator for up to a week.