A watermelon smash made with fresh strawberries and watermelon juice is like summer in a glass. Similar to a spritzer, with the addition of vodka, plus the addition of fresh mint makes this a refreshing drink, perfect on a hot day.
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What exactly is a smash?
Originally, a smash was similar to a mint julep, but like everything, it has changed over the years.
It has become a bit more flexible in its interpretation, but there are a few elements that should be included for it to be considered a smash.
- a spirit base (in this case, vodka)
- sugar (or other sweetener)
- herbs (often it’s mint)
- seasonal fruit
- water, seltzer or soda
Summer, for me, is watermelon and stone fruit. The refrigerator is never without bowls of watermelon, berries and all of the stone fruits, because I know that all too soon their time will pass until next year. Can you relate?
I wanted a libation that evokes that feeling of summer. A drink that makes us think of lazy days, floating in the pool or feeling the sand between our toes.
An easy watermelon drink that can be served at backyard bbqs with friends and neighbors.
Something to sip while we watch the sun slowly drop, the firepit glowing with bright orange flames dancing around skewered, melty marshmallows. This is that drink.
How to make watermelon juice
This cocktail uses watermelon juice as the base and in the ice cubes. So, first, we need to make watermelon juice. It is actually really easy to do and takes only a few minutes.
To make the watermelon purée, add a splash of rosé to the blender, then slowly add in small cubes of watermelon until it is all incorporated.
Notice I said small cubes? The first time I made it, I cut the watermelon into chunks and it took forever. I learned my lesson – it needs to be smaller cubes in order for the blender to make quick work of it.
Once you have all of the watermelon blended into a purée, strain it. Yes, this is an extra step, but trust me, it’s worth the effort.
You will be rewarded with crystal clear watermelon juice, instead of a pulpy purée.
To do this, place a fine mesh strainer over a container and pour the blended watermelon through. Using a rubber spatula, gently work the liquid back and forth to help it drain.
Discard the pulp when all the juice has been strained, or save it for another use.
Watermelon and strawberry smash cocktail
We need ice for a smash, right? No one said it had to be pure water, so we’re going to make watermelon juice ice cubes, because no one likes a watered down drink.
Fill an ice cube tray with slices of strawberries and a bit of chopped mint. Pour watermelon juice over to fill and freeze until solid.
This is a great thing to do ahead of time. You can use these ice cubes in plain water as well to give it a bit of flavor!
Make it a mocktail – Replace the alcohol with flavored water or juice (white grape, apple or white cranberry ) to make a kid-friendly, non-alcoholic version.
This drink is perfect for easy entertaining. Make a big pitcher and let everyone serve themselves.
What can I serve with this cocktail?
You need some easy, summer dishes to go with your cocktails. Here are a few menu suggestions for a delicious, nearly effortless meal.
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- 4 cups watermelon juice (from about 1/3 of a small watermelon), divided
- 8 oz rosé wine, chilled
- 4 oz huckleberry vodka (or vodka of your choice), chilled
- 1 bunch mint, divided
- 2 cups strawberries, sliced
- Seltzer or Sprite/7-Up, optional
Make watermelon juice ice cubes
- Add a splash of rosé to the blender, then add small cubes of chopped watermelon to the blender, a handful at a time. Purée the watermelon, then add more until it is all blended.
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve, using a rubber spatula to help it drain through. Discard pulp.
- Chop a few mint leaves and set aside. Place chopped mint and a few sliced strawberries in ice cube trays. Fill with watermelon juice and freeze.
- Place one or two mint leaves in each glass and gently crush to release oils (do not mash).
- Add juice ice cubes and a few sliced strawberries to each glass.
- Add 2 ounces of wine, 1 ounce of vodka and 2 to 4 ounces of watermelon juice to each glass. Stir to combine.
- Top with seltzer or soda and garnish with fresh mint leaves, if desired.
If you can't find Huckleberry Vodka, use another berry flavored vodka in its place. 44 North is the brand I used, I found it at my local store.
If you ask nicely, I'm sure the store would be happy to order it for you 🙂
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 242Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 67mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 3gSugar: 39gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
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Originally published 6/19/16, most recent update 7/8/20