Summery Watermelon Sparklers for July 4th -www.southerndiscourse.com


You know that it’s summer when trailers piled high and long with watermelons start showing up along the highway accompanied by weather farmers and hand-lettered cardboard signs.  These giant heralds of summer, watermelons are kin to cucumbers, squash, and their fall brother, the pumpkin, and can be classified correctly as either a fruit or a vegetable (watermelon.org).  Huh, who knew?

And while there are plenty of ways to eat it- sliced into lovely wedges. With salt. Without.  In salad with spicy arugula and feta.  Scooped into those little balls at a shower-  at my house watermelon is mostly consumed outside on a hot day in ice-cold slices that take two hands to hold and result in sticky chins.  It’s tradition.

But sometimes tradition needs a kick in the pants. 

 So this year, after an untold number of watermelons had already been consumed, watermelon sparklers were born.  These ruby beauties are a great idea for July 4th celebrations. With bright lime, a little fizz, and a hint of mint, these watermelon fruit slushes are surprisingly easy to make.  And with simple garnishes that make them just a little special and a whole lot of fun, they just might steal the show this Independence Day.


Ingredients:

  • 8 C cubed seedless watermelon, chilled
  • 5 C ice
  • 1 can frozen lime concentrate
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • Ginger Ale
  • Lime slices, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 TBSP lime juice
  • red and white sugar crystals
  • Blueberries
  • Mint leaves
  • extra watermelon wedges

Process:

Put watermelon (little white seeds and all) in a blender and puree. My blender only holds 5 C, so I had to do two rounds.  Pour pureed melon into a pitcher.  Don’t worry about straining the pulp.  This is a fruit drink after all, not just a juice.

Add your ice to the blender and puree until your ice is like snow.  Add to the pitcher of watermelon.

Add the frozen lime concentrate and 1/4 C sugar.  Stir well.  If you don’t want to garnish, then you can serve up your watermelon sparklers now!  To make it sparkling, fill glass 3/4 with frozen watermelon drink and top off with ginger ale.

If you want to garnish, use long toothpicks to skewer  lime slices, 2 blueberries, and a small watermelon wedge and set aside.

Sugar the rim of your class by dipping it first into the lime juice and then into the sugar crystals.  I usually just use two bread plates for this process.  I put the juice in one plate and the sugar in the other.  Sometimes, I dip back into the lime and then back to the sugar for a nice heavy rim.

Carefully pour in your frozen watermelon drink, top with ginger ale, add your garnish and mint leaves.  Voila!  A perfect 4th of July drink to sip while you watch the fireworks! A sparkler for your sparkler… or something like that.  Happy 4th!

***

With bright lime, a little fizz, & a hint of mint, they are surprisingly easy to make! It's the perfect summer drink!


Need other great 4th of July ideas?  Try these!

Throw a nostalgic farm-style picnic to celebrate July 4th and all we love about summer!

Go coastal this 4th of July with crab cake sliders and an easy remoulade!

Check out this and other great recipes on Meal Plan Monday, Foodie Friday, and Weekend Potluck.

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