More than anything else, I think this has been the summer of watermelon here. I love when the giant bins of whole watermelons begin appearing in the store, and even though I'm the only one in this house who eats watermelon, I never give a second thought to sticking one in my cart and bringing it home. I'll spend the time to cut it into cubes and load it into resealable plastic bags or containers so it's easy to grab from the fridge whenever a craving strikes. In case you had any doubts, it's a TON of watermelon. I usually end up including it as part of my breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next week to make sure nothing goes to waste. Generally, I'm content to eat it as is - juicy, sweet, and refreshing, it's sort of perfect without any extra fuss.
When I was at Shane's parents' house last week, though, I had more time than usual in the kitchen and was in the mood to try something new with my watermelon stash. I found myself on Google searching for ideas; one of the first things that caught my eye was Deb's watermelon lemonade. I'd made strawberry lemonade last year and loved it, so there was little doubt in my mind watermelon lemonade would be equally as big a hit. Besides, it was hot, and homemade lemonade is always so refreshing on a summer afternoon! I made mine fizzy by subbing in some sparkling water and it was wonderful. As Deb noted, the lemonade isn't super sweet, so I will confess to having added a bit more simple syrup than the recipe called for. My sweet tooth is insane - you probably won't need to change a thing. However you make yours, it'll definitely hit the spot and keep you cool when the mercury starts rising this summer!
(PS - If you need help cutting your whole watermelon, my friend Nicole over at Heat Oven to 350 shared her favorite method in a post earlier this week!)
adapted from Smitten Kitchen (originally from Bubby's)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh watermelon puree, strained to remove seeds
3 tablespoons simple syrup (recipe below)
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup sparkling water
Add all of the ingredients to a small pitcher and stir to combine. Divide between two glasses and serve.
To make the simple syrup: Combine equal parts water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Continue simmering until the sugar has dissolved. Turn off the heat and let the syrup cool to room temperature. Leftover syrup can be stored in the refrigerator. (I used 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water for this recipe and had just a tiny bit of extra simple syrup.)
Makes 2 glasses of lemonade (double or quadruple the recipe to serve a crowd)