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The Ultimate Lemonade Stand Drink: Sparkling Watermelon-Lemonade

Budding entrepreneurs and watermelon-lovers will enjoy this minty, refreshing drink.

June 28, 2017

There’s a phenomenon that happens in Seattle. As soon as the sun gives the tiniest of peeps from behind the near-constant drizzle of rain clouds, we put on shorts, flip-flops and tank tops and expose our pale skin to the elements.

The kids are no different. School’s out for the summer, they have (a little too much) time on their hands and they’re looking for something to occupy themselves. My stepsons, ever the entrepreneurial spirits, wanted to set up a roadside stand to sell, well, anything they could. Their first idea was to sell plums from the tree in our backyard. It was a great idea, but had two major problems: there are no plums yet and they wanted to sell them for $10 per pound (a bit expensive, even if they are local and organically grown).

The next idea was to sell Lego creations, which I knew would end in tears when they realized they wouldn’t get the Lego’s back.

So, we turned to the staple summertime kid-money-raising-endeavor: the lemonade stand.

As much as I love my kids, I’m not squeezing $30-worth of fresh lemons to sell it for five cents a cup. I try to pack my fridge with enough ingredients to make almost anything. Necessity is the mother of invention, as the saying goes, so we decided to make due with what we had on hand: making lemonade out of (bottled) lemon (juice). I always keep a bottle of lemon juice in the fridge, because it comes in handy to add a splash here or there for a lot of recipes. We had half a watermelon in the fridge leftover from the previous night’s dinner and — to make it extra-fancy — mint that was growing free and wild all over the backyard (yes, local and organic!).

Our watermelon was plenty sweet, but we added a sprinkling of sugar to make it perfect. We whirled it together in the blender with the lemon juice and a few mint leaves, then topped everything off with a bit of sparkling water. When we mixed our creation all together, we were surprised at how refreshing and beautiful our concoction tasted and looked. We’ve even made plans for future watermelon-ade: we’ll freeze some of the watermelon ahead of time, and then blend it with the lemon juice for a more slushie-like drink. You can also freeze cubes of watermelon to use as edible ice cubes on a hot day.

The boys hit the streets with their canning jar glasses, watermelon-ade sign, and high hopes. It was a smashing success: the hubby and I bought three glasses each. We live on a slow street.

Sparkling Watermelonade

Serves eight people.

Ingredients

  • 1/2-cup sugar
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • Half of a small watermelon, chopped, plus additional for garnish (about 1 ½ pounds, trimmed)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • A few fresh mint leaves (optional)
  • 2 to 3 cups sparkling water, to taste
  • Ice, for serving

Preparation

Combine sugar, lemon juice, watermelon, hot water and mint in a blender. Process until smooth. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

To serve, combine watermelon mixture, sparkling water and ice in a pitcher. Serve in individual glasses garnished with watermelon pieces.
 


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Jackie Freeman

Recipe developer, food stylist and culinary tinkerer, Jackie Freeman has worked in the culinary field for over 20 years as a private chef, cheesemaker, culinary instructor, recipe editor and a radio and video personality.

More stories by Jackie Freeman

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