These watermelon sodas are so refreshing, so natural, and such a beautiful color! Made from just a basic combination of pureed and strained watermelon, homemade simple syrup, and club soda, these drinks have some sweetness and sparkle of a soda, with the natural benefits of fresh watermelon. They taste like a glass of summer sunshine, and they are fun to make!
I was inspired to make these thirst-quenching sodas by my July issue of Real Simple magazine. In it there is a recipe for a batch of simple syrup and some ideas for fresh fruit sodas. I experimented with different fruits and levels of sweetness, and used my family and one of my son’s friends as taste testers. We all liked the watermelon version posted below the best. Maybe that is because watermelon is the quintessential fruit of summer, and also a very cooling fruit. Add the effervescence of carbonation, and you have a festive, family-friendly beverage.
I had never made simple syrup before this summer, but it is so easy, and such a great thing to have on hand. It is just a matter of boiling equal parts of water and sugar for 3 to 4 minutes, and the resulting syrup keeps in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month. Just pull it out when you want to whip up a couple of watermelon sodas! (Also, you can use it to sweeten iced tea, iced coffee, and cocktails).
We had so much fun experimenting with these sodas, and if you decide to make these, you can customize them to suit your own sweetness preference, or try different fruits. The recipe below makes a lot of simple syrup, and also extra watermelon puree, and because both keep in the refrigerator, it is easy to make these sodas more than one time.
One thing to note is that the quality of the watermelon does make a difference. The first time I made these sodas, the watermelon I had was kind of bland, and the sodas were not as flavorful. Our current watermelon is bursting with flavor, and that shines through in the sodas. Another thing to note is that club soda is not the same as tonic water. That may be obvious to many of you, but the first time we made these, I accidentally brought home tonic water (blame it on the summer heat!), and they did not taste good!! Club soda or sparkling mineral water work great.
As I am writing this, it is early in the morning and we are getting a light rain through the morning sun. After so many hot sunny days, the rain is welcome. I am writing from my favorite summer room–the screened-in porch–and I can smell the freshness of the rain. But it is supposed to be a scorcher of a hot day today, as well as tomorrow, so these watermelon sodas will definitely come in handy! That and heading to the nearest lake. In this kind of heat, it really feels best to either be near (or in) a body of water, in the shade, or in air conditioning. The nights have been cooling down nicely lately though, and I have really enjoyed watching the fireflies. Between the stars and the fireflies, the summer nights have been magical, full of shimmering and sparkling.
I hope you all have a great weekend, and stay cool! If you are looking for a naturally refreshing drink, give these a try. I am taking a couple of glasses of these fresh watermelon sodas over to Angie’s virtual potluck Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Laurena @ Life Diet Health and Jenny @ Apply To Face Blog.
Fresh Watermelon Sodas
For the simple syrup:
- 3 cups of sugar
- 3 cups of water
For the watermelon sodas:
- 3/4 cup of simple syrup
- 2 cups of fresh watermelon, diced
- 4 cups (32 ounces) of club soda
For the simple syrup:
In a medium sauce pan stir together the sugar and the water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring often, for about 3-4 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let the resulting syrup cool to room temperature, for about 30 minutes. Use the directed amount for your sodas, and store the remainder in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month. You can use the simple syrup for more fruit sodas, or to sweeten iced tea, iced coffee, or cocktails.
For the fresh watermelon sodas:
Dice 2 cups of water melon and place them in a blender. Puree until smooth. From the blender, pour the watermelon puree through a fine-mesh strainer placed over a bowl, shaking the strainer a bit and pressing down on the puree with the back of a spoon. (Discard what is left in the strainer). Set out four tall glasses. In each glass, spoon 3 tablespoons of the strained watermelon puree. Then spoon 3 tablespoons of the cooled simple syrup into each glass. Feel free to use more or less simple syrup, according to your tastes. Pour 1 cup (8 ounces) of club soda into each glass. Be sure it is a tall glass so there is room for fizzing. Add a couple of ice cubes. Serve cold. Enjoy!
This recipe is adapted from the July 2018 issue of Real Simple Magazine.