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.
- 8 C cubed seedless watermelon, chilled
- 5 C ice
- 1 can frozen lime concentrate
- ¼ C sugar
- Ginger Ale
- Lime slices, thinly sliced
- 2-3 tablespoon lime juice
- red and white sugar crystals
- Mint leaves
- extra watermelon wedges
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 ¼ 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 ¾ 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!
Need other great 4th of July ideas? Try these!