Watermelon Sour Cocktail Recipe

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Watermelon Sour Nutrition Facts





Alcohol by volume:10%

Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Watermelon Sour is a refreshing twist on the classic sour cocktail. Originating from the creative experimentation of bartenders looking to infuse traditional recipes with new flavors, this cocktail has become a summertime favorite.

  • Popularity: It's particularly popular among those who enjoy fruity and refreshing drinks.
  • Occasions: Ideal for hot summer days, pool parties, and barbecues.
  • Evolution: Over time, the recipe has been adapted to include various sweeteners and garnishes to enhance its appeal.

How Watermelon Sour Tastes?

The Watermelon Sour is a harmonious blend of sweet and tart flavors. The juicy freshness of watermelon balances the zesty sourness of the lemon, while the simple syrup adds a smooth sweetness. The addition of bourbon gives it a robust and slightly oaky undertone, making it a well-rounded and invigorating drink.

Interesting facts about Watermelon Sour

  • Versatility: The Watermelon Sour can be made with various spirits, though bourbon is a common choice.
  • Garnish: A watermelon slice or a twist of lemon peel is often used to garnish the drink, adding to its visual appeal.
  • Seasonality: While it can be enjoyed year-round, it's especially popular during watermelon season.


  • Fresh watermelon juice: 2 oz(60ml)
  • Lemon juice: 0.75 oz(23ml)
  • Simple syrup: 0.5 oz(15ml)
  • Bourbon: 1.5 oz(45ml)
  • Ice cubes: as needed
  • Mint leaves: for garnish

Fresh Watermelon Juice

The star of the show! This juice adds a sweet, refreshing flavor that's essential for a Watermelon Sour. It's also responsible for that gorgeous, summery color. Too much might overpower or make the drink too sweet; too little might make you wonder where the watermelon wandered off to!

Alex Green

Lemon Juice

This sour component brightens up the drink and balances the sweetness of the watermelon and simple syrup. It’s like the best backup dancer—it knows just how to make the lead shine. If you skimp on it, your cocktail might become a one-flavor wonder.

Emma Rose

Simple Syrup

The sweetener that mediates peace between the sour lemon and the bourbon—it's a diplomat in liquid form. Without it, your puckered lips might stay that way from the lemon’s tartness. Measure carefully; you're sweetening, not creating syrup with a hint of cocktail.

Mary Mitkina


Bourbon gives backbone to your Watermelon Sour with its woody, vanilla notes. It's the difference between a mocktail and a cocktail that means business. If the bourbon is too shy (not enough), the drink may feel like it's missing its knight in caramel armor; too much, and it might storm the castle, overpowering the delicate watermelon.

Alex Green

Ice Cubes

These little frozen sculptures aren’t just there for the arctic chill; they help dilute the drink to the perfect strength as they melt. A cocktail without ice? Only if you want to feel like you’re sipping the sun.

Emma Rose

Mint Leaves

Imagine the drink without this garnish—it’s like a garden without flowers. They add a pop of color and a refreshing aroma that invites you to dive in. Plus, it’s a mini air freshener with every sip!

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Watermelon Sour Drink

  1. In a shaker, combine the watermelon juice, lemon juice, simple syrup, and bourbon.
  2. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously until well chilled.
  3. Strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with a sprig of mint and a small slice of watermelon.

Pro Tips

  • Watermelon Juice: For the best flavor, use freshly juiced watermelon.
  • Chill Your Glass: Place your glass in the freezer for a few minutes before serving to keep the cocktail colder for longer.
  • Balance: Adjust the simple syrup to your taste, especially if your watermelon is particularly sweet or bland.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Grilled Seafood: The smokiness of grilled shrimps or octopus complements the sweet and sour profile of the Watermelon Sour.
  • Spicy Appetizers: Spicy dishes like buffalo wings or jalapeño poppers are a great match as the cocktail's sweetness balances the heat.
  • Summer Salads: A fresh arugula salad with feta and cherry tomatoes pairs well, enhancing the fresh, crisp notes of the watermelon juice.

Drink Pairings

  • Sparkling Water: For a non-alcoholic option, sparkling water is refreshing and keeps your palate clean between sips of the cocktail.
  • Light Beers: A light lager or pilsner would not overpower the cocktail's flavors and provide a contrasting experience.
  • Iced Green Tea: The tea's bitterness and herbal notes can create a pleasant contrast, emphasizing the cocktail's sweetness and acidity.

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What you could change in Watermelon Sour

  • Bourbon: If bourbon isn't your thing, try using vodka or gin for a lighter taste.
  • Simple Syrup: Agave syrup can be used as a natural sweetener alternative.
  • Mint Garnish: Basil can offer a unique twist if mint is not available.

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And of course - twists🍹

Spicy Watermelon Sour

Add a small slice of jalapeño to the shaker before mixing. The heat will add an exciting kick, playing off the sweet and sour notes of the cocktail. If you're up for a flavor adventure, this is your twist. It’s like sending your taste buds on a tropical holiday with a surprise salsa dance!

Watermelon-Basil Sour

Swap the mint for fresh basil leaves. This herbaceous variation has an aroma that cozies up to watermelon in all the right ways. It’s a refreshing twist that feels like a gourmet garden party in your mouth.

Fizzy Watermelon Sour

Top off the cocktail with some sparkling water. This brings a vivacious effervescence to each sip, making the drink even more refreshing. If the original is a gentle summer breeze, this twist is the delightful gust that lifts your spirits and your hair!

In case you forgot basics how to make Watermelon Sour

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Watermelon Sour

What type of glass is best for serving a Watermelon Sour?

A rocks glass or an old-fashioned glass is typically used for serving a Watermelon Sour to accentuate its rich color and allow ample room for ice.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of a Watermelon Sour?

Yes, you can create a mocktail version by substituting the bourbon with non-alcoholic spirits or simply by increasing the amount of watermelon and lemon juice.

What is the best way to extract juice from a watermelon?

The best way to extract the juice is to blend chunks of watermelon and then strain the puree to remove any seeds and pulp.

How can I make my Watermelon Sour less sweet?

You can reduce the sweetness by lessening the amount of simple syrup or by using a more tart variety of watermelon.

Is it necessary to use fresh lemon juice?

Using fresh lemon juice is highly recommended for the best taste and quality of a Watermelon Sour, as it brings out the bright, citrusy flavors.

How long does it take to make a Watermelon Sour?

A Watermelon Sour typically takes about 5 minutes to prepare once you have all the ingredients ready.

Can I use frozen watermelon to make the juice?

Yes, frozen watermelon can be used to make the juice; just allow it to thaw slightly before blending for easier processing.

How do I store leftover watermelon juice?

Leftover watermelon juice should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consumed within 1-2 days.

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