Watermelon lemonade has got to be my new favorite drink. And that's without vodka. I have not tried it with vodka, mostly, because my friends, cough...husband are boring (actually not true). The truth is hard alcohol and I don't get along. We can, on occasion, if I am able to sleep in come morning. And I'm not talking about hard core drinking. Even If I wanted one hard alcohol cocktail, I would need to sleep in. It's just a necessity, and I like my mornings, so I usually refrain.
I am amazed at how much the watermelon taste comes through. I thought the delicate flavor might get lost among the more pungent lemon juice, but I was most definitely wrong. The process might seem a little on the daunting side. It's not, but I realize that the straining step of the watermelon pulp (which is essential) might turn some people off. Just use the smallest/tightest mesh strainer you have. It seriously takes only a few minutes. If you don't own a mesh strainer, just buy some cheesecloth next time you are at the store, line a bowl with it and strain the watermelon through. I used a food processor to whiz up my watermelon puree.
Adapted from Bubby's via Smitten Kitchen
makes 1 pitcher (about 6-8 servings)
1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 cups fresh watermelon puree, strained through a course strainer to remove seeds and pulp
12 tablespoons simple syrup
3 cups cold water
Stir it all together and serve over ice. Garnish it with a thin watermelon or lemon wedge, if you are feeling fancy.
Spritzy variation: swap one-third or more of the water with seltzer or sparkling water
Boozy variation: add a splash, or two of vodka
You can make your own simple syrup by boiling together equal parts of water to sugar until the sugar dissolves. Cool before adding to the lemonade, or add lots of ice, take your pick.