{drink it up} Watermelon Julep

There are two things that we do well here in Upstate New York come summer: Eating watermelon and racing horses. From late July to Labor Day, the population of one of our beloved towns swells to accommodate horse racing aficionados from around the world. And of course, you can’t watch a good running of the thoroughbreds without a Mint Julep in hand. Why not add some watermelon to it, you know, just to keep it interesting? Welp, here you go… a Watermelon Julep that combines two Upstate past times and eliminates the pesky need for chewing-and-spitting watermelon seeds.

{makes four cocktails}


2 cups of watermelon, cubed (rind removed, but seeds are okay)
1/4 cup sugar
8 mint leaves
Good bourbon (about 8 ounces)

watermelon granita


In a blender, combine watermelon, sugar, and mint leaves. Blend until smooth (add a little water if necessary). Strain watermelon mixture through a sieve and pour into a baking dish (like a 9″x13″ pan). Place in freezer, and every 15 minutes, take two forks and scrape up the frozen “watermelon granita,” repeating every 15 minutes until the mixture is completely frozen (after scraping, it should look like pink rock salt or broken-up rock candy). Spoon mixture into old-fashioned glasses, filling about halfway. Top with about two ounces of bourbon, or until the watermelon granita becomes slushy. Garnish with a mint sprig and add a spoon if you’d like to slurp-up the adult slushy you just created.


10 Comments Add yours

  1. Tammy says:

    What a great idea! Thanks for this.

  2. avecelan says:

    That sounds delicious. I have had coffee granita, but watermelon sounds fantastic! Watermelon and bourbon, even better!

  3. putneyfarm says:

    Great post- we have the watermelons and will give this a try..

  4. Ooh, sounds deliciously refreshing, Deanna! Can’t wait to try.

  5. Deanna says:

    Glad you like it, everyone! You could try a whole host of liquors with the watermelon granita – I’m thinking tequila (or mezcal) or vodka would be especially delicious!

  6. Dianna says:

    vodka! I am there. Thanks Deanna, for responding to my whining for a melon drink recipe!

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