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+ servings
Two tall glasses filled with Watermelon Italian Soda. Mint leaves and red and white straws in each glass. A bowl of watermelon and two bottles in background
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Watermelon Italian Soda

Make this refreshing, bubbly soft drink with fresh watermelon juice.
Course Drinks, Libations
Cuisine North American
Keyword Italian soda, watermelon
Prep Time 15 minutes
chill time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 16 12-ounce drinks
Calories 236kcal

Equipment

  • blender

Ingredients

  • 5 pound seedless watermelon peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 5 mint leaves plus more for garnish
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 24 ounces (2 litres) seltzer water (see notes for substitutes)
  • ice to serve

Instructions

Extract the Watermelon Juice

  • Put the watermelon chunks and mint leaves into your blender.
    Blend the watermelon and mint for 30 seconds-1 minute, or until no large chunks remain. 
  • Once the watermelon is pureed, pour it mixture through a fine-mesh sieve that's been placed over a bowl.
    Use a rubber spatula to gently nudge the juice from the pulp through the sieve. You don't want a lot of watermelon flesh in the drink, so try not to press the flesh too hard.
  • Discard the watermelon pulp after you've extracted the juice. The extracted watermelon juice should measure approximately 6 cups.

Prepare the Watermelon Simple Syrup

  • In a pot, stir the watermelon juice and granulated sugar together. Bring this mixture up to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. 
  • After the syrup comes to a boil and the sugar has dissolved, let it continue cooking for 30 seconds. 
    Remove the syrup from the stovetop and set it on the countertop to cool completely.
  • When the watermelon simple syrup has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to a pitcher and put it into the fridge.
    Chill the simple syrup until very cold. Alternatively, you can set the pitcher in a bowl of ice water, to cool it down faster. Stir the syrup frequently and you can use it as soon as it is ice cold. 

Prepare the Watermelon Italian Soda

  • Fill a highball glass halfway with ice cubes.
  • For a lightly sweetened soda: fill the glass 1/3 to 1/2 full with watermelon syrup.
    For a sweeter watermelon Italian soda: fill the glass 5/8s of the way with watermelon syrup. 
  • Pour the seltzer water on top of the syrup filling the glass.
    Use a cocktail stirrer, or a straw, to stir the soda. Begin down at the bottom of the glass, and pull the syrup up while stirring into the seltzer to create a balanced drink. 
  • Garnish each glass with a long stem of mint and a straw for sipping. Floaty bits of watermelon in the soda are to be expected since it's made with fresh juice. 

Notes

Seltzer Substitutions: sparkling mineral water, club soda, tonic water, or sugar free ginger beer.
Because the seltzer will go flat after a while, store the watermelon simple syrup in the fridge and make your Italian sodas "to order".
For party Watermelon Italian Sodas, set up a watermelon Italian soda bar and let them create their own glass. 
Keep your watermelon simple syrup in a covered pitcher in the fridge for up to three days. 

Nutrition

Calories: 236kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 159mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 59g | Vitamin A: 820IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg