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10 Delicious Ways to Enjoy Juicy Watermelon This Summer

Grilled watermelon from Love & Lemons, two watermelon margaritas by Minimalist Baker, and watermelon salsa by Gimme Some Oven.
Love & Lemons/Minimalist Baker/Gimme Some Oven

This most refreshing of melons is made for summertime sipping and snacking. That’s why we wanted to share these 10 tasty watermelon cocktail and food recipes!

As its name proclaims, watermelon is made mostly of water, so it’s guaranteed to rehydrate you during the hot days of summer. It’s the perfect snack on its own, but it also tastes excellent in a cocktail or as the star ingredient in a meal. Let’s explore all the watermelony possibilities!

Fruit or Vegetable?

To even think of this sweet melon as a vegetable seems odd, but if you make your way to Oklahoma, where watermelon is the official state vegetable, things start to get confusing.

As it’s part of the gourd and cucumber family, watermelon is grown like a vegetable, which is how it often gets lumped into the veggie category.

However, if you ask a botanist, he or she might tell you it’s a fruit because the melon develops from the plant’s flower and contains seeds. Culinarily speaking, fruits are usually classified based on their sweet or tart taste and how they’re used in cooking.

As for us? We agree with the botanist. And if you thought watermelon was only good for snacking up to the rind on hot summer days, think again! It makes a refreshing boozy beverage and can even be incorporated in lunch or dinner.

Watermelon Vodka Cocktail

A platter topped with several watermelon wedges along side of two rocks glasses filled with a pureed watermelon vodka cocktail.
The Art of Food and Wine

Vodka works into just about anything you have in your fridge, so if a large oval watermelon is sitting in the back, be sure to grab it now. Aside from the alcohol and fruit, you’ll need simple syrup, lime juice, and a bit of zest to create this concoction of a cocktail.

You’ll learn to blend a quick puree, then mix up the chilled ingredients for a summertime drink you and others will love.

Get the Recipe: The Art of Food and Wine

Fresh Watermelon Mojito

Two images of watermelon mojitos. The left image is of a watermelon mojito in a large glass pitcher, filled with lime, watermelon and several mint leaves. The right image is a glass of the cocktail ready to be sipped.
Spend with Pennies

Mojitos are the ultimate summer refresher. Combining ingredients like mint leaves, lime, rum, and soda, you’ll have a cooling cocktail in no time. This rendition highlights—you guessed it—watermelon!

Next time you find yourself needing a fun pitcher of something to bring to a party, this watermelon mojito will deliver, and everyone will ask for seconds.

Get the Recipe: Spend with Pennies

Watermelon Margarita

Two watermelon margaritas, with salted rims and lemon wheel garnishes.
Minimalist Baker

Step aside strawberry margarita, there’s a new flavor in town, and it’s here to win the hearts of tequila lovers!

With just three simple ingredients, a bit of blending, and loads of lime juice and tequila, you’ll have one helluva cocktail to win hearts. Salt or sugar your rim, and don’t forget the lime wheel garnish!

Get the Recipe: Minimalist Baker

Watermelon Cosmo

Two images of ingredients used to make watermelon cosmos including the left image which features infused watermelon vodka, and the right image is of two watermelon cosmos.
Dishes Delish

This recipe calls for first making a watermelon-infused vodka, which the author highly recommends.  You’ll have plenty of tips for making this fruity infusion, so be sure not to skim through that section.

Using Cointreau (orange liquor), lime and cranberry juices, simple syrup, and your homemade infused vodka, you can make this drink in just minutes. All you need to finish it off is a watermelon wedge to make that pink drink even prettier.

Get the Recipe: Dishes Delish

Watermelon Rum Punch

Two images of watermelon rum punch. The left image is a glass of rum punch and the right image is of rum punch being ladled out of a watermelon.
A Spicy Perspective

We’ve provided lots of fun ways to enjoy watermelon as a boozy beverage, but if there’s one recipe you have to try, it’s this rum punch.

It’s so fun, you even get to serve it in a hollowed-out watermelon. It doesn’t get much more summery than that.

Get the Recipe: A Spicy Perspective

Grilled Watermelon

Finished plates of grilled watermelon topped with corn salsa, and all the ingredients used to make the meal.
Love & Lemons

If you love the bright flavors of watermelon, then you’ll love taking it up a notch with this grilled and topped version. Once the melon is accented with flame-kissed char lines and covered with crunchy corn and feta salsa, you’ll have a mouthful of deliciousness to munch on.

In addition to this tasty corn salsa recipe, grilled watermelon also tastes fantastic on a bed of spring greens in a light lemon vinaigrette or served with a grilled steak dinner.

Get the Recipe: Love & Lemons

Watermelon Salad with Feta and Cucumber

Two images of watermelon salad, made with cucumber, watermelon, feta cheese and mint.
Dinner at the Zoo

Cucumber, watermelon, and feta cheese go hand in hand in this fresh and filling salad. A tad of lime juice, olive oil, and mint add some depth of flavor that’s just right for this wholesome dish.

Get the Recipe: Dinner at the Zoo

Watermelon Caprese

A serving plate with layered watermelon and fresh mozzarella caprese drizzled with a quick vinaigrette and garnished with chopped basil leaves.
Rachael Ray In Season Magazine

If you love a traditional Caprese salad with layers of juicy tomatoes, fresh mozzarella slices, and dainty basil leaves, then this watermelon rendition is one you’ll definitely want to try.

Believe it or not, subbing the tomatoes with watermelon creates a lovely pattern of sweet that tastes fantastic with the other ingredients. Top it off with a simple vinaigrette or a sweet honey-balsamic glaze finish.

Get the Recipe: Rachael Ray In Season Magazine

Watermelon Salsa

Two images of watermelon salsa; the left image is before the salsa is mixed and the right image is the finished product.
Gimme Some Oven

If you haven’t noticed, mint and watermelon work flawlessly together, and this salsa recipe is yet another example.

Add the diced red onion and fresh jalapeño for a kick of spice, and zest it up with a lime juice finish. Serve this on top of shredded chicken tacos or with tortilla chips.

Get the Recipe: Gimme Some Oven

Watermelon Sorbet

A fancy bowl filled with three scoops of homemade watermelon sorbet.
Leite’s Culinaria

After you’ve enjoyed a watermelon cocktail and meal, well, why not go all the way with a final course featuring the same delicious fruit.

Watermelon sorbet is so tasty and fresh, especially on those super-hot summer days. You don’t need an ice cream maker to whip up this tasty dessert either; all it takes is a bit of mixing, blending, and freezing.

Get the Recipe: Leite’s Culinaria

Now that you know how versatile watermelon is, be sure to grab a wedge or an entire melon next time you’re in the produce section. The sweet and succulent possibilities are endless!

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »
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