Lemonade stands were my first hands-on introduction to food sales and marketing. Parked at the end of my driveway or on the corner of a neighborhood street, I set up shop selling instant lemonade by the Dixie cup. Crayon-colored signs were enough to entice cars and walkers to stop and buy my lemonade. What a confidence booster – people wanted something that I could produce at 7! But let’s be serious, it wasn’t because the lemonade was outstanding or that my marketing angle was unique. I was subconsciously exploiting my youth and charm to sell a product. Got to love that “aw, cute!” factor. Unfortunately, I have outgrown such sales tactics (it’s a shame because I’m running out of ideas to pay off my school debt haha). So now I make the lemonade just for me. Except this time I use real lemons.
Believe it or not, I don’t drink lemonade just for the sugar rush. Vending machine lemonade lacks that bright yellow luster. I want that burst of sour-citrus sunshine that convinces you that the lemon was freshly squeezed. Most of the time, I want to taste the full lemon spectrum. Today I had a different mission.
Committed to getting my full money’s worth out of the 10 lb watermelon I had just bought, an idea came to mind: watermelon lemonade. Sweet, juicy watermelon added to tart lemonade, perfect! When buying a 10 lb watermelon, there are doubts as to whether you can ever eat it all. But I was determined. I ate it plain, mixed it with salad, froze it, and still there was a fair amount of it left in the fridge. Watermelon lemonade was the key to using up the rest.
If a drink was ever described as succulent, they were talking about this lemonade. It was like nectar derived from the soul of both lemon and watermelon. Spiked with liquor, this could become an exceptional barbeque bar drink. Either way, this is lemonade that sells without the stand or the cute kid sitting behind it.
4 cups watermelon, seedless and cubed
1 cup lemon juice, fresh
½ cup simple syrup (i.e. sugar water)
2-4 cups water (depending on how strong you want it)
1. Make simple syrup by adding ½ cup sugar to ½ cup water and bringing to a boil. Let cool.
2. Place about 4 cups of cubed watermelon into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
3. Strain watermelon through small wire-mesh strainer – you only want the juice, not the fleshy part of the fruit.
4. Juice watermelons (No need for a juicer, I just used a fork). Strain the juice to catch seeds or any lemon parts.
5. Mix all ingredients in pitcher. Serve cold.
Makes about 4 glasses of lemonade.