We combined two of our summer loves - watermelon and mojitos - to make these easy, refreshing Watermelon Mojito Cocktails!
I’m not sure there is a more quintessential summer cocktail than a mojito. The combination of mint, sugar, lime juice, rum and club soda gets me every time.
So what do you get when you create a mash up of summer’s most refreshing fruit and summer’s most refreshing cocktail? A must-have Watermelon Mojito recipe that you’ll be sipping all season long.
The ingredients for this mojito will probably look familiar. My version doesn't stray too far from a traditional mojito recipe except for the addition of ripe, juicy watermelon.
- White rum - Leave that bottled of spiced rum in the cabinet. A classic mojito recipe alway uses white rum.
- Fresh mint - You can’t have a mojito without one of it’s signature flavors - mint. Luckily, mint grows prolifically (or invasively, depending on how you see it), so plant it in its own pot if you can or it might take over other plants. Large, just-picked bundles are always available at the store or farmer’s market during summer, too.
- Lime juice - Only the fresh stuff will do here. None of that bottled stuff, please.
- Superfine sugar - You’ll find this in this in the baking aisle. It has a finer grain than regular sugar and is often used in cold drinks and some baking recipes because it dissolves more quickly.
- Fresh watermelon cubes - You'll want the juiciest, ripest melon for these drinks. Follow my tips below for how to pick a ripe watermelon.
- Club soda - Because can you even call it a mojito without some fizzy goodness?
Substitute simple syrup for superfine sugar
If you don’t have any superfine sugar on hand when the watermelon mojito craving hits, feel free to swap in a generous ½ ounce of simple syrup instead. Or if you only have regular sugar on hand, you can use that, too.
Just make sure you dissolve it completely in the lime juice before adding the remaining ingredients. No one likes a slightly gritty mojito.
How to muddle mint
Never heard of the word “muddle” before? Muddling is a technique used to gently smash fruit, vegetables and herbs in drinks to help them release their juices and flavors.
The concept is similar to that of a mortar and pestle. You muddle the mint and watermelon cubes together in this watermelon mojito recipe.
In order to muddle, you need a muddler, the professional tool used by bartenders. It’s an inexpensive, long handled tool made from wood, stainless steel or stone that has either a flat or toothed bottom. Why the long handle? So it easily fits into tall glasses and cocktail shakers.
Everyone has their favorite muddler but the process for muddling mint is the same:
- Place mint in the bottom of a glass or cocktail shaker before adding ice.
- Gently press and turn the muddler into the mint 3-4 times to release the herb's oils and aromas.
Pro Tip: We like to think that more is always better, but that’s not the case with muddling. The goal when muddling is to keep the mint leaves mostly intact. Shredding and smashing them into smaller pieces releases too much of their oils and gives you a bitter cocktail.
If your mint looks like it was run over by a car, you’ve muddled too much. Start with a light hand and adjust the muddling to your taste as desired.
How to choose a ripe watermelon
Ever bit into a watermelon slice and been disappointed? Sure, it looks red and juicy, but it ends up being bland and almost flavorless.
The best watermelons are those that are grown in season, so that means July for us northerners and a few weeks earlier for warmer climates. My first choice for picking a ripe watermelon is to buy direct from the farmer at the farmer’s market. I always ask for a ripe melon, and they never steer me wrong.
Can’t make it to the farmer’s market? Follow the tips for choosing a ripe melon at the grocery store:
- The watermelon should feel heavy for its size. A heavy melon is a juicy melon.
- Look at the underbelly of the melon where it has been sitting in the field. What color is it? You want a creamy yellow color. Any other color (green or white) means it’s not fully ripened yet.
- Give the melon a good thump. If it has a full, hollow sound, you’re in for some sweet, juicy melon. If you hear a dull thud, the melon will not likely be as ripe.
My Watermelon Mojito recipe is a bit different from others because you muddle the the melon directly in the glass rather than puree the watermelon separately and add it to the cocktail. Less effort, less dishes but still the same great flavor. Win-Win!
- Start with a tall collins (or highball) glass.
- Add the lime juice and sugar to the glass and stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Then add the watermelon and mint and muddle gently 3-4 times.
- Fill your glass with ice, pour in rum and top with a splash of club soda.
- Garnish with additional mint leaves and watermelon cubes. (The boozy watermelon cubes are my favorite part of this cocktail!!)
You can also make this mojito recipe in a pitcher for a crowd. Multiply the recipe by your number of guests, and add the ingredients to a pitcher rather than an individual glass.
Muddler and Cocktail Spoon Set - I love this set because the muddler is extra long so it makes getting into those skinny collins glasses a bit easier. Also the stir spoon is great for pitchers and tall bar glasses alike!
Collins glasses (also called highballs) are a must for mojitos. They usually average between 11-13 ounces, which is less than your average tall drinking glass. You can certainly use one of your favorite drinking glasses. Just know the glass may not be completely full because it has a larger capacity.
Superfine sugar - If you want to make your own superfine sugar, simply take regular granulated sugar and give it a spin in the food processor. If you're short on time or energy, there are several brands that can be easily purchased either online or at the grocery store.
Virgin Watermelon Mojito
Not a rum fan? You can still enjoy the refreshing flavors of this drink recipe. Simply omit the rum, toss in a bit more watermelon and top with club soda. You still get all the juicy, minty, melon flavors without any of the alcohol.
More watermelon drinks
- This Watermelon Gin Punch is great for a crowd and perfect for all the gin lovers in the house.
- Are you one of those people who adds a dash of salt to fresh watermelon slices? If so, these tasty Watermelon Margaritas are a must make for your next happy hour.
Mojitos and summer were made for each other. Don’t miss some of these other thirst-quenching mojito recipes!
Elderflower Mojitos - Garnish with Lemon®
Tequila Mojitos - Garnish with Lemon®
Grapefruit Mojitos - Melanie Makes
Bubbly Strawberry Rosé Mojitos - Garnish with Lemon®
- 2 ½ teaspoons superfine sugar
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- 6 pieces of watermelon seeded and cut into 1 x 1" cubes, divided
- 10 mint leaves divided
- 3 ounces white rum
- club soda
- Place sugar and lime juice in a collins/highball glass. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Add 3 watermelon cubes and 5 mint leaves to the glass and muddle gently 3-4 times.
- Fill glass with ice, pour in rum and top with a generous splash of club soda. Gently stir. Garnish with remaining watermelon and mint leaves.
Nutrition info not guaranteed to be accurate.
Beat the heat this summer with this refreshing and easy Watermelon Mojito recipe. Just like a classic mojito with rum, lime and mint but with the addition of juicy watermelon!