What to drink this weekend: Watermelon cocktails

I'm bringing some of my old cocktail creations back to life here on Wine and Wonder. Last week, I introduced you to the Bee's Nectar. It's similar to a Bee's Knees, using honeysuckle syrup instead of honey syrup.

This week - just in time for the beginning of summer - I'm freshening up these watermelon cocktails, cooling libations made with fresh watermelon juice.

To juice a watermelon, I take chunks of fresh watermelon without the rind and mash them up. Then I puree the mash with a stick blender until all pieces are liquified. I run that liquid through a sieve. The juice that comes through the sieve is what I use for the cocktails.

The first cocktail I named the Backyard Picnic Bradford. A bradford is a martini that's shaken not stirred. It can be served in a martini glass or a coupe glass. I've added a bit more vodka than my original version, but feel free to scale it back to 3 oz if you want a lower octane drink.

The second cocktail, The Watermelon Ginger Fizz, I've adjusted a bit recently. I changed up the amounts of vodka and watermelon juice, as well as added fresh lime juice instead of lemon juice.

Backyard Picnic Bradford

Ingredients for 2 cocktails

  • 1 1/4 oz honeysuckle simple syrup or regular simple syrup (recipe for honeysuckle syrup is in the Bee's Nectar post linked to above)

  • 8 lemon balm leaves

  • 4 oz vodka

  • 4 oz watermelon juice

  • 1 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice

  • Additional lemon balm leaves for garnish, if desired


  1. Add honeysuckle syrup and lemon balm into a shaker. Muddle so the leaves release their oils.

  2. Add the vodka, watermelon juice and the lemon juice to the shaker and fill with ice.

  3. Shake until well chilled.

  4. Pour into two glasses. Garnish with additional lemon balm leaves.

Watermelon Ginger Fizz

Ingredients for 1 cocktail

  • 2 oz vodka

  • 2 oz watermelon juice

  • 1/2 oz simple syrup

  • juice of 1/4 of a large lime

  • ginger ale


  1. Fill a tall glass (about 10 oz) with ice.

  2. Add vodka, watermelon juice, simple syrup and lime juice. Stir. Top with ginger ale and give a gentle stir.

  3. Garnish with lemon wedge if desired.

If you want a non-alcoholic version, omit the vodka, increase the watermelon juice to 3 oz, and add simple syrup, lime juice and ginger ale.

Main Image: congerdesign/pixnio used with permission of creative commons license

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