I made this Watermelon Lime Punch to go with our Juneteenth meal this year, and there were a couple of requests for the recipe. This is an adaptation of two recipes I found in the 1984 edition of Southern Living Magazine’s Annual Cookbook, one for Raspberry Sparkle Punch and another for Strawberry-Mint Coolers. They both seemed interesting to me, so I took a bit from both and made something entirely different! Here they are in their original glory —
Watermelon Lime Punch Ingredients
Feel free to jump to the full recipe, but here are useful notes about the ingredients you will need to make this Watermelon Lime Punch recipe:
- Sugar, water: To make simple syrup. There’s a recipe for it in my ebook Who Made The Potato Salad? and I’ll be adding it here shortly but I have to get fresh photos first. In the meantime, I’m including it as a part of this recipe.
- Frozen limeade concentrate: You know the cans in the frozen food aisle by the Cool Whip? One of those. Regular limeade won’t work here, it has to be concentrated. You could probably sub freshly squeezed lime juice but I haven’t tried it so I’m not sure.
- Fresh watermelon: Good watermelon. Don’t use no mediocre watermelon! If you taste your melon and feel like you could have gotten a better one, don’t use it! It’s too important; this is called Watermelon Lime Punch after all! Cold-pressed pure watermelon juice would be a good alternative, and the only one I’d suggest trying if you’re struggling to find quality melons.
- Fresh limes: We only need the zest, to really bring forth the lime flavor so it’s truly Watermelon Lime Punch. You can slice them for garnish, too if you like. I like.
- Tonic water: I suggest seltzer or sparkling water if you can’t find tonic water. I would not use club soda. The flavors of all of these differ. Club soda borders on salty, tonic water is slightly sweet with a touch bitter (it works well here), and sparkling usually is just fizzy water.
How to Make Watermelon Lime Punch
Full instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a basic overview of what you’ll need to do, along with some important tidbits to help you make the most of this Watermelon Lime Punch recipe:
- Make the syrup. Add the sugar and water to a large pot and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar has completely dissolved about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool completely before using. If you have enough foresight I suggest making it the day before. It’s good for up to a month in the refrigerator.
- Juice your watermelon. If you have a juicer, use that. I do not, so I use either my blender or food processor to pulse my watermelon into a puree, then push the puree through a sieve to separate the juice and pulp. How much watermelon you need will vary, but remember that watermelon is mostly liquid, anyway. On average I use about 2-2 1/2 pounds of fresh-cut watermelon for each batch of Watermelon Lime Punch.
- Make the punch. Grab your pitcher or punch bowl or cooler or whatever. Into it add the limeade, lime zest, and simple syrup. Next, pour in all of the watermelon juice. Finally, at an angle to preserve as much carbonation as possible, pour in the tonic water. Use a long spoon to stir the punch together. Chill tightly covered for at least 4 hours before serving. Some separation will occur as it rests; just stir well to redistribute the watermelon throughout the punch before serving. Dassit! Enjoy!
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