Chef John's Watermelon Agua Fresca

Chef John's Watermelon Agua Fresca

Chef John

"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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50 m servings 177 cals
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 6 servings


  • Calories:
  • 177 kcal
  • 9%
  • Fat:
  • 0.6 g
  • < 1%
  • Carbs:
  • 45g
  • 15%
  • Protein:
  • 2.3 g
  • 5%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Sodium:
  • 7 mg
  • < 1%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

See full nutrition

Nutritional Information

1 Serving
Servings Per Recipe:
Amount Per Serving
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  • ** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
  • (-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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  • Prep

  • Ready In

  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.


  • 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.

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Read all reviews 14
  1. 18 Ratings

Most helpful positive review

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

The secret is to add some lemon to it

Most helpful
Most positive
Least positive

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.

"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 imaginab...

The secret is to add some lemon to it

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

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.

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 d...

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


Too much sugar! I used 3 tablespoons, and it was still sweet enough. I also used juice from 3 limes.

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