Watermelon Agua Fresca

This minty, sweet non-alcoholic drink is our new warm weather go-to.

Watermelon Agua Fresca

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling by Lucy Simon

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
15 mins
12 ounces

When it comes to agua frescas, the refreshing fruity drink popularized in Mexico and across other parts of Latin America, no other flavor is as popular as watermelon. This watermelon agua fresca from Eight Row Flint in Houston features refreshing watermelon, tart, freshly squeezed lime juice, and an herbaceous, easy-to-make mint syrup. The result is a balanced, just-sweet-enough watermelon drink that is perfect for summer barbecues or poolside hangs. 

While you can find watermelon juice at most grocery stores — be sure to look for pure watermelon juice, not juice cocktail from concentrate — you can also easily make your own by blending chunks of watermelon and straining it through a mesh sieve. Freshly squeezed lime juice adds brightness and helps offset the sweetness of the juice, and a mixture of simple syrup and sweet mint cordial round everything out. If you don't feel like making mint syrup, you can find mint cordial near the coffee syrups at your grocery store. If you do happen to whip up a batch at home, it can last in the fridge for a few weeks, and is a great addition to classic cocktails including a gin & tonic, Moscow Mule, and of course, a Mojito

While it may seem counterintuitive to dilute fruit juice with a lot of water, this addition creates the bright and refreshing drink that has enough flavor without being overly sweet or too fruity. Ultimately, the addition of water is what makes it possible to drink multiple glasses of this watermelon agua fresca in one sitting without feeling bogged down by sugar. 

While the watermelon agua fresca is certainly delicious on its own, it's also incredibly alcohol-friendly. Smokey and savory mezcal plays so well off the sweet, fresh flavors of this drink. If you’re more of a purist, vodka also works in this context, and will help amplify the refreshing watermelon notes of this drink. –– Lucy Simon


Mint Syrup

  • 2 lbs fresh mint

  • 4 quarts water

  • 4 quarts granulated sugar

Watermelon Agua Fresca

  • 17 ounces watermelon juice

  • 17 ounces water

  • 1/2 ounce mint syrup

  • 1 ounce simple syrup

  • 1 ounce lime juice


Make mint syrup

  1. Place mint into a fine mesh strainer while bringing 4 quarts of water to a boil.

  2. In a separate pot, pour 4 quarts of sugar into the bottom, and place the strainer with mint over the sugar.

  3. When water comes to a boil, turn off heat and let sit for 30 seconds, and pour very slowly over mint. Let sit until drained.

  4. Bring mixture to a boil to incorporate sugar and pour once more over mint. 

Make Watermelon Agua Fresca

  1. In a blender, combine watermelon juice, water, mint syrup, simple syrup, and lime juice. Blend until smooth, between 20 and 25 seconds.

  2. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain mixture into a glass filled with ice.

Related Articles