Watermelon is one of my favorite summer foods, and David’s watermelon sangria recipe below does this delicious fruit justice!
With summer right around the corner, you can be sure that I’m whipping out every sangria recipe I know.
There’s no better way to celebrate the arrival of warm weather, afternoon barbecues, or leisurely summer vacation days! And while traditional sangria is an alcoholic punch using red wine, this version takes it up a notch.
Adding juicy watermelon and using white wine gives you a sangria punch that tastes like summer! It also makes it a bit lighter in taste (and also in alcohol content). It’s also perfect for anyone who wants sangria but dislikes red wine.
The Quick Sip on Sangria
Most people visiting Spain want to find the best sangria. It’s up there with paella for the most hunted menu item in the country!
But the problem is, you won’t find it. Ask a Spaniard for the best sangria in town and they might just roll their eyes at you! These days it’s associated with pre-mixed drinks popular at street parties for teens, or overpriced glasses at restaurants popular with tourists.
What we drink instead: Tinto de Verano recipe
If you want to read more about the little known history of sangria, check out Lauren’s post all about sangria’s place in Spain!
But although sangria might not be the most typical thing on a Spanish menu, it can still be delicious!
The traditional recipe is made with red wine, fruit, and plenty of spices, but every now and then I crave something lighter. This watermelon sangria recipe is the perfect choice for a sunny summer afternoon or barbecue pick me up!
How to Make Watermelon Sangria
You’ll need to cut your watermelon into small cubes or slices, without the rind, before making this sangria recipe. You can read the quick steps to cutting watermelon here.
The next step is to blend the watermelon together with the sweetener. I prefer to use honey, as I think it tastes more interesting and it makes me feel slightly less guilty somehow. But if you’d prefer to use sugar, you can substitute the honey for 1-2 cups of sugar (depending on how sweet you like the recipe).
After blending the watermelon and honey mixture, you’re going to strain the mixture. This will remove any seeds or insoluble parts of the watermelon.
Next, add vodka, white wine, lime juice, and taste it to see if it’s sweet or tart enough for your liking. In terms of wine, in Spain, I go for a bottle of Viura. You want something dry (the sweetness comes from the honey and watermelon, after all) and unoaked. Viura does the trick, but a simple, unoaked chardonnay will also do well or a vinho verde from Portugal if you can find one!
Arguably the most important part is chilling your watermelon sangria. While the sangria only takes about 10 minutes to put together, the ingredients need time to steep and combine. Leaving it for at least an hour in the fridge will make it so much more delicious!
Optional serving garnishes: This watermelon sangria doesn’t have any fruit chunks in it, but you could easily add diced watermelon, grapes, or even pineapple right before serving. It’s also extra refreshing with a sprig of mint to garnish!
Summer Watermelon Sangria Recipe
- 4 pound (1.8 kg) watermelon, cut into small cubes or slices, rind removed
- 1 to 1½ cups honey (or sugar), depending on how sweet you like it
- 1 750mL bottle of dry, unoaked white wine
- 1 cup vodka
- ½ cup fresh lime juice
- Using a blender, combine the watermelon pieces and honey until smooth.
- Pour the watermelon/honey mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a large cocktail pitcher. Press any solids that get caught in the sieve with a spatula to release any last juices, and then discard.
- Add the white wine, vodka, and lime juice to the pitcher and stir well to combine. Taste for sweetness and acidity and adjust as necessary with more honey or lime juice. If it tastes too strong for your liking, add 1 to 2 cups of chilled water to dilute and then mix again.
- Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.