Most, if not all, of my friends have had this Watermelon Cooler at one summer party or another. It happens (it has to!) every summer and for good reason. This is one of the most refreshing and easy to drink coolers out there. You don’t need very much sugar and you can make it as a mocktail or a cocktail.
Another huge plus is that you can make the watermelon juice in advance and freeze it. Just defrost the day before you want to make the cooler.
Truth be told, up until this year, I always made this as a cocktail and spiked it with Citron Vodka (usually Absolut Citron or Grey Goose Le Citron).
This year, I intentionally reworked the recipe to be a mocktail so my son (who loves watermelon with all of his being) and those who don’t drink could enjoy it as well.
If you are one that does drink, I include variations to spike it with Vodka below in the notes. Enjoy!
- If you want to make this alcoholic based on single servings, just make the recipe as listed and set out a bottle of chilled Citron Vodka when serving. Add 1.5 ounces of Citron Vodka to a tumbler of ice and fill with cooler.
- If you want to make the whole batch alcoholic and serve it punch-style, add 12 ounces of Citron Vodka when you add the watermelon juice. Continue with the recipe. Once ready to serve, set the club soda on the side instead of adding to the whole batch and top off each glass as you serve it.
- 3 Tablespoons coconut palm sugar
- ½ cup boiling water
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 medium lemons)
- 6 cups watermelon juice (see NOTES)
- 5 to 6 mint sprigs plus more for serving
- 2 cups club soda
- ice and lemon slices for serving
- You can make watermelon juice in a blender, high-speed blender or food processor. Just cube the watermelon into 1" cubes and process in batches until liquefied. Note that if you do use a food processor or standard blender, you may want to strain the watermelon juice through a fine mesh strainer like this.
- In a pitcher or large measuring cup, combine coconut palm sugar with boiling hot water until dissolved. Add lemon juice and stir. Allow to cool for a couple minutes.
- Add watermelon juice (and vodka if using) along with fresh mint. Stir to combine, cover and refrigerate 8 to 24 hours.