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Watermelon Summer Sips

SOAK UP THE FINAL DAYS OF THE SEASON WITH THESE REFRESHING DRINKS

Article by Chelsey Modde

Photography by Chelsey Modde

Cheers to summertime.

As we teeter on the edge of a new season while still attempting to squeeze out the best summer has to offer, it seems like a pretty perfect time to slip in some boozy drinks featuring the season's favorite fruit: watermelon.

What is it about the fresh fruit + alcohol combo that invokes instant relaxed pace vacay vibes? I'm sure there's some real science behind it, but the yum factor is a solid enough answer for me. If you're trying to satiate a summer craving with a light, refreshing drink... add some watermelon to the mix.

After chatting with local bartenders there are a few basic ingredients that repeatedly make an appearance when we're talking watermelon drinks: limes, mint, and cucumber.

If you're ready to knock a few back, below are our three favorite, simple recipes to work into the mix before fall flavors sneak in and take their place at the table. The best part? Omit the alcohol for a kid-friendly, bump-friendly, or work-friendly treat.

Watermelon Tequila Fresca

If you love a good melon margarita, switch it up for an equally delicious tequila-infused drink

What You'll Need:

  • Seedless Watermelon
  • Tequila
  • Lime Juice
  • Crushed Ice
  • Mint Leaves

Mix it Up:

  1. Dice up your watermelon and drop it in a food processor or blender.
  2. Once it's blended, add 1 1/2 cups tequila and 3/4 cup lime juice.
  3. Add in 3 cups of ice and puree until smooth.
  4. Garnish with a chunk of watermelon and a few mint leaves.

Watermelon Mojito

A twist on the classic summer favorite

What You'll Need:

  • Seedless Watermelon
  • White Rum
  • Simple Syrup
  • Mint Leaves
  • Soda Water
  • Lime

Mix It Up:

  1. Dice up 1/2 a watermelon and put it in a blender or food processor. Pour into glasses.
  2. Add a shot of white rum into each glass and 1/2 a shot of simple syrup.
  3. Throw in a few mint leaves + smash ‘em with a spoon (we “bruise”, not muddle it).
  4. Squeeze in 1/2 a lime.
  5. Add crushed ice + top with soda water⠀.
  6. Garnish with mint and lime.
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Cucumber Watermelon Mint Spritz

RefreshMINT, anyone?

What You'll Need:

  • Cucumber Mint Vodka
  • Seedless Watermelon
  • Mint
  • Cucumber
  • Soda Water or Sprite
  • Simple Syrup

Mix It Up:

  1. Dice up 1/2 a watermelon and put it in a blender or food processor. Once the watermelon is blended, add in 1/4 a cucumber.
  2. Add in 2-3 shots of Cucumber Mint Vodka.
  3. Add in a shot of simple syrup (two if you like your drinks a bit sweeter, and pour into glasses).
  4. Take 3 sprigs of mint and muddle the leaves.
  5. Let it sit in the freezer for an 2 hours if you like a slushy consistency.
  6. Top with soda water or sprite and garnish with as cucumber and mint.
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Take it Up a Notch

  • Pick up your watermelon at your local farmers market to support local growers and get an expert opinion on which one to grab. If you're based in the KC-metro, I had good luck at Overland Park Farmers Market.
  • Elevate your drink with a rimmed glass. Coat the rim with lime juice, honey, agave nectar, or simple syrup and dip it in sugar, salt, pop rocks, Tajin, or coconut flakes.
  • Rather than using ice cubes, fill an ice tray with some blended juice and let it freeze for 4 hours for an extra splash of watermelon-y deliciousness when serving.
  • Add in cute straws, napkins, placemats, and trays for a festive take. Pink Antlers Studio in Leawood is a mother-daughter owned shop absolutely filled with pretty options, A Store Named STUFF in Brookside always has cute finds by local creators, or swing by RE: Emporium on the Plaza.
  • If you'd rather grab something on the go sans liquor, swing by Ruby Jean's Juicery. The "Cherry Bomb" smoothie featuring watermelon, cherries, lime, banana, and agave will make you feel like you're sitting sea side and the "No Sweat" juice blend with watermelon, apple, and lime is invigorating.