Chef John's Watermelon Agua Fresca Recipe -
Chef John's Watermelon Agua Fresca Recipe
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Watermelon Agua Fresca
See how to make the ultimate summer refresher. See more
  • READY IN 50 mins

Chef John's Watermelon Agua Fresca

Recipe by  

"This is my all-time favorite summertime drink. When it's hot and humid and you're totally parched, there's nothing as refreshing, as revitalizing, and as restorative as ice-cold watermelon agua fresco. It's one of life's great drinkable pleasures."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 -2-quart pitcher Change Servings
  • PREP

    10 mins

    50 mins


  1. Scoop flesh from watermelon half and transfer watermelon to a blender. Add 2 cups cold water. Place a folded towel on blender lid and blend until liquefied, about 1 minute. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl to remove fibers. Discard fibers left in strainer. Skim and discard excess foam from juice if desired.
  2. Place sugar and 1/2 cup water into a saucepan over medium heat and stir until water is hot and sugar has dissolved. Turn off heat and let simple syrup cool to room temperature. Stir simple syrup into watermelon juice to taste.
  3. Pour drink into a 2-quart pitcher and refrigerate until cold, at least 30 minutes. To serve, fill tall glasses with ice cubes and pour agua fresca drink over ice. Serve with straws.
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  • Cook's Notes:
  • Flesh from half a watermelon equals 5 to 6 cups.
  • Optional: Fill empty watermelon half shell with ice, pour drink into watermelon shell, and serve garnished with a sprig of mint.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Aug 20, 2013

I have made this last month from another recipe I found that was similar, but I used soda water to give it a fizz, you can also add some vodka for an adult drink. Very good.

Most Helpful Critical Review
May 09, 2014

The secret is to add some lemon to it


14 Ratings

Jul 21, 2014

"Watermelonade" is exactly what this is - here in Mexico, agua fresca con limon is limonada, or lemonade. Where I live, on the west coast of Mexico, agua fresca is made with every fruit imaginable. I had some guests for dinner recently and the evening was very warm. Half of our guests drank this delightful drink (with added sliced limes) and half had Watermelon Sangria, also from this site. Both were wonderful, but I preferred the agua fresca. And straining the pulp makes all the difference - thanks for the tip, Chef John.

Sep 01, 2013

Delicious and easy.. going to try the other half with a different sweetener and some bubbles

Feb 20, 2015

I have made this for many years. It is a favorite beverage in Ecuador as well. But I never found that any sugar was necessary at all. Perhaps the watermelons were sweeter.

Aug 06, 2014

Like other persons suggested I added lots of lemon juice and mint and it turned out very good and refreshing. I did NOT strain the fruit puree/juice as we like the pulp. I shall try again with different combinaisons of summer fruits.

Feb 20, 2014

Ok, so this is really like a watermelonade than agua fresco. I added some fresh mint and it was better.

Aug 22, 2015

No changes. Those of the family who actually like watermelon.... Love it!


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  • Calories
  • 177 kcal
  • 9%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 45 g
  • 15%
  • Cholesterol
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Fat
  • 0.6 g
  • < 1%
  • Fiber
  • 1.5 g
  • 6%
  • Protein
  • 2.3 g
  • 5%
  • Sodium
  • 7 mg
  • < 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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