This watermelon vodka cocktail is the most perfect summer drink. It’s filled with the flavor of ripe watermelon, cool cucumber, and an herby hint of fresh basil. Vodka adds a bite of alcohol, but the purity keeps the focus on watermelon and cucumber. Serve it icy cold with a cucumber ribbon garnish— it doesn’t get more refreshing!
It’s important to use the sweetest watermelon you can get your hands on. The flavor of this cocktail hinges on blended watermelon, so don’t waste your time with a sub-par melon. It won’t be the same!
how to make watermelon juice:
- Place cubed watermelon in a blender.
- Blend on medium -high speed until very smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Optional: add peeled and chopped cucumber for an extra fresh, summery flavor.
- Strain through a fine mesh seive to remove thick pulp. Don’t skip this step! Watermelon pulp can be gritty, which isn’t the best texture for a cocktail. Strain it and discard the pulp for an extra smooth drink.
- Transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
how to make a watermelon vodka cocktail:
- Blend up a watermelon and cucumber.
- Strain the watermelon juice.
- Put basil, simple syrup and lime juice in a shaker.
- Muddle basil.
- Add watermelon juice, vodka and ice.
- Shake until chilled.
- Strain over ice.
- Garnish (see ideas and how-to’s below) and enjoy!
best vodka for watermelon cocktails:
I love the clean, pure taste of vodka in watermelon cocktails, but not all vodkas are the same.
As the quality of the vodka increases, the alcohol gets a creamier texture and a cleaner flavor. Watermelon and cucumber are delicate flavors and they can get overpowered by the off-flavors of very cheap vodka. So don’t go bottom shelf.
But this is a cocktail— it’s filled with sugar, flavors (watermelon! cucumber! basil!), and acidity. It isn’t necessary at all to use your finest luxury vodka. In fact, it’s a waste.
I recommend using your favorite premium tier (“top shelf”) vodka. This level of vodka is light, smooth, and simple. We love Ketel One, but Tito’s, Absolut and Belvedere are all great vodka choices for this watermelon cocktail.
how to make a cucumber ribbon garnish:
Cucumber ribbons make the most elegant garnish for this watermelon cucumber cocktail. They look so pretty, I would do it even if I skipped the cucumber in the drink. The best part is how easy they are! Here’s how to make them:
- Use a vegetable peeler to create even ribbons of cucumber.
- Stop when you get to the center of the cucumber— the seeds at the core don’t make good ribbons— and rotate the cucumber all the way around to peel the other side. I typically get about 8 ribbons/ cucumber.
- Store ribbons on a damp paper towel.
- Gently fold the ribbon like an accordion. I prefer to keep the width of the folds about ¾-inch wide.
- Pierce the folded cucumber ribbon with a cocktail pick. Store finished garnishes under a damp paper towel until ready.
Note: the longer the cucumber, the bigger the garnish will be. You want a strip that's at least 4-inches long, but it’s best to start with the longest piece you can and trim after it’s been folded.
how to make watermelon cocktail garnishes:
Watermelon balls are a cute and easy garnish for watermelon cocktails. You can use a melon baller to make perfect spheres, and then string them on a cocktail pick. Fast and easy!
But what if you don’t have a melon baller?
Use a ½ teaspoon or 1 teaspoon measuring spoon instead. It’s tricky to get perfectly round melon balls, but it’s not that noticeable when they’re lined up on a cocktail pick. And you avoid buying yet another kitchen gadget.
You could also garnish this watermelon vodka cocktail with a tiny watermelon wedge. Simple and pretty!
want to serve a crowd? turn this cocktail into a watermelon vodka punch:
This recipe will make 11 ½ cups (92 fl oz) of punch. Assuming a 5 ounce glass of watermelon vodka punch, you'll get about 18 servings!
- 6 cups watermelon juice
- 3 cups vodka
- 1 ½ cups fresh lime juice
- 1 cup simple syrup
- Handful of basil
how to turn this into a non-alcoholic watermelon spritzer:
Skip the vodka and top the watermelon cucumber juice with soda water. You’ll have a super refreshing and non-alcoholic summery drink that you can enjoy all day long!
easy watermelon cocktail variations:
- Skip the cucumber for a fruity watermelon vodka cocktail
- Muddle jalapeño instead of basil to make a spicy watermelon cocktail
- Rim with a chile salt and replace vodka with tequila
- Swap in mint for basil for extra freshness
- Serve it over crushed ice (or put it all in a blender) to make a watermelon slushy cocktail
here are more summery cocktails you’ll love:
sparkling raspberry basil shrub cocktail
And you’ve just chopped up a whole watermelon. Don’t toss the rind! Transform it into sweet, tart, tender pickled watermelon rinds. They just might be the best thing you’ve ever pickled!Print
watermelon vodka cocktail with cucumber and basil
This watermelon vodka cocktail is cool, sweet and so refreshing. Ripe summer watermelon is blended up and flavored fresh cucumber and basil.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 1
- Category: Cocktails
- Method: Shaken
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
watermelon cucumber juice
- 4 cups seedless watermelon chunks
- 1 cup peeled and chopped cucumber
watermelon vodka cocktail
- 2- 3 leaves fresh basil, plus more for garnish
- ½ oz simple syrup
- ¾ oz fresh lime juice
- 1 ½ oz vodka
- 3 oz watermelon juice (recipe above)
- watermelon balls, for garnish
- cucumber ribbon, for garnish
watermelon cucumber juice
- Combine watermelon and cucumber in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
- Strain with a fine mesh sieve into a glass jar or pitcher. Chill until ready.
watermelon vodka cocktail
- In a cocktail shaker, combine basil leaves, simple syrup and lime juice. Gently muddle basil to release flavor.
- Add vodka and watermelon juice and fill with ice. Shake well and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a cucumber ribbon and watermelon ball.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 281
- Sugar: 41g
- Sodium: 146mg
- Fat: 0.1g
- Saturated Fat: 0g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 46g
- Fiber: 0.7g
- Protein: 0.9g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: watermelon vodka cocktail
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