Watermelon … the fruit of summer! A cold slice of juicy watermelon on a hot day serves as a cool reprieve. As kids, having the freedom to let that juice run down our arms as we ran around the yard, spitting seeds at each other … I mean, at non-human targets, of course … was one of life’s simplest pleasures. With age comes wisdom and I am no longer humored by spitting seeds at anyone or anything … at least not often 😉. With age also comes the enjoyment of a refreshing summer cocktail like this Watermelon Sangria!
It is always a good idea to make sure everyone knows the sangria is for adults only. After all, it’s quite pretty and kids may be tempted to help themselves to this pretty “punch”. This recipe could very easily be converted to a non-alcoholic punch by using only the watermelon puree, simple syrup, and lemon-lime soda. Maybe float a few blueberries on top for a pretty look and to help you keep track of which punch is which!
What is Sangria?
Originating in Spain and Portugal, sangria is typically a blend of red wine, soda water, fruit juice, fresh fruit, spices, and brandy, served cold over ice. Liberties have been taken with this original combination to incorporate different seasons, fruits, holidays, and personal preferences. Pretty much anything goes but here is a link to Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s chart showing the ratios and options to inspire your creativity!
For this watermelon sangria, I chose to use fresh watermelon (pureed and strained), a homemade lime and mint simple syrup, Sauvignon Blanc white wine, lemon-lime rum, tonic water, fresh lime and fresh mint!
A few years ago, my oldest son, Nick, and I created another summer sangria using cantaloupe, peaches, blueberries, white wine, hard cider, and rum. How strange we didn’t put ANY tonic or soda in that version. Hmmmm … strange, indeed! LOL
Lime Mint Simple Syrup
This recipe includes instructions for making a lime and mint simple syrup. A lot of recipes call for sugar, especially those with more tart fruit. Making a flavored simple syrup increases the depth of flavor of the accent ingredients like herbs and spices.
About one cup of simple syrup is made here but only 1/3 cup is used in the sangria. With the leftovers, add a tablespoon to a glass of ice water or tea. Use it to make a mojito or margarita. Even a fresh fruit salad gets a summer boost from a little drizzle of this syrup.
Cheers to Watermelon Sangria
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice about 4 limes
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup mint leaves divided
- 1/8 cup water
- 6 cups seedless watermelon cubes
- 1 bottle white wine (750ml) Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
- 3 cups tonic water
- 1/2 cup Lemon/Lime Rum
- Lime Slices
Lime-Mint Simple Syrup
- Combine lime juice, sugar, 1/2 cup mint leaves, and water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently.
- Simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until sugar is fully dissolved.
- Remove from heat. Cool completely. Store in refrigerator.
- Place watermelon cubes in a blender. Puree until smooth. Pour through fine mesh strainer. Measure two cups of watermelon juice for sangria. Refrigerate or discard any remaining juice.
- In a 2-quart pitcher, combine the 2 cups of watermelon juice, white wine, tonic, rum, 1/3 cup of the lime-mint simple syrup, remaining mint leaves, and extra slices of lime. Add ice if desired. Stir and serve!