Watermelon weekend, here we come!

By Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
August 14, 2019
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It’s hot, humid, and sticky, and all you really want is to cool off. And maybe look cute while doing it? Enter the watermelon. But more specifically, the small watermelon. While the giant, head-sized fruits may look impressive to lug home, or say, make a keg or fruit sculpture out of, the smaller varieties pack in sweetness, plenty of juice, and enough curb appeal to create an enviable summer party drink—watermelon juice served right out of the rind!

To start, pick out a watermelon, the smaller the better, i.e., the easier to lift and tote around a party once it’s full of juice. Mini watermelons, like The Pixie (typically up to three pounds), Baby Flower (up to four pounds), and Sugar Baby (up to nine pounds) are the way to go. If you’re hosting a crowd, consider a watermelon for each guest—once you get started, hollowing out each rind feels easier, plus you can easily blend the fruit in a big batch.

You’ll want to cut off the top of the watermelon, similar to styling a Jack-o'-Lantern, and lift the top rind off. With a metal straw, poke a hole through the top, like a hole punch. If the rind is too tough, use a paring knife to cut a small notch in the top, as a hole for the straw.

Use a small spoon to scoop out all the fruit’s red insides (most small watermelons are seedless or have very limited seeds), and toss the red fruit into a blender.

Then, blend the fruit for about a minute, or until all the fruit has been liquefied. Rest a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and slowly pour the blended watermelon over it, so that the pulp is reserved in the strainer and the clear juice trickles out below. If your watermelon isn’t cold, mix in a few ice cubes—the juice is sweet and potent—they won’t dilute it!

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When you’re ready to serve, spoon or use a large funnel to fill the watermelons with their juice and voila, sweet Instagram bait! Adults can carve their initials on the outside to remember whose watermelon is whose, and kids can use stickers or paint pens to decorate theirs. If you’re hosting outdoors, keep your mini watermelons in a cooler on top of a layer of ice. And encourage guests to keep refilling them!

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Variations: Add in a few squirts of lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit juice to the blender. Toss in mint leaves, basil leaves, or Thai basil. Stir in the booze of your choice, once the fruit is strained, or let guests spike the watermelons themselves. Cheers!

Equipment:

  • Kitchen knife
  • Spoon, teaspoon or equivalent
  • Cutting board
  • Blender
  • Fine Mesh Strainer
  • Large bowl
  • Reusable straws
  • Ice (optional)

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