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Watermelon Lime Punch

highball glass of Watermelon Lime Punch

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 —

the drink section of recipe book Southern Living's Annual Cookbook 1984 Recipes detailing two party punches

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.
tall glass of Watermelon Lime Punch

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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Watermelon Lime Punch


  • Author: María
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: about a gallon

Description

A lot sweet,  a little tart, very yummy.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 lbs fresh watermelon, cubed
  • 1 (12oz) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
  • 4 1/2 C (1 L bottle) tonic water
  • 4 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 4 C filtered water
  • 2 tsp lime zest

Instructions

  1. Grab a large stockpot and to it add all of the sugar and water. Place over high heat and bring everything to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar has completely dissolved and the liquid has thickened just slightly.  Turn off the heat and allow it to cool completely before using.
  2. Add your fresh watermelon to the bowl of your blender or food processor. Pulse the watermelon until it’s mostly broken down into a puree, then blend or process on high for 15 seconds. Next, pour the blended watermelon through a sieve into a large measuring cup or bowl. Use a silicone spatula to push the puree through the mesh to separate the juice and pulp. You should end up with 4 cups of watermelon juice.
  3. Pour the limeade concentrate, lime zest, and simple syrup into a large pitcher, then pour in all of the watermelon juice. Tilt the pitcher if you can, and pour in the tonic water at an angle to preserve as much carbonation as possible. Use a long spoon to stir the punch then cover it tightly. If the pitcher top doesn’t seal or turn to close, a piece of saran wrap under the top might help. Once covered, chill the punch 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.

Notes

  • Check the post above the recipe for advice on substitutions and method adaptations.
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 5
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