At the end of July we had a BBQ to celebrate John’s 30th birthday. On a whim I bought a huge watermelon to serve up at the party. After I had scooped out the watermelon and artfully arranged the wedges back inside of it, I still had a bunch of leftover watermelon and watermelon juice. Totally opposed to throwing any of it away, I brainstormed what I could make with it. Watermelon sangria sprang to mind immediately and this recipe was born!
Domestocrat’s Summertime Watermelon Sangria
For the simple syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 cups watermelon (my 2 cups was made up of odds, ends, and leftover juice)
For the sangria:
2 cups simple syrup
2 cups watermelon juice/watermelon puree (about 3 cups of watermelon chunks)
4 cups white wine
2 nectarines, sliced into wedges
1 cup blueberries
The first step is to make the watermelon infused simple syrup. Combine the water, sugar, and watermelon in a small pot over medium heat. Simmer until the sugar has completely dissolved, the watermelon has broken down completely, and the mixture has a syrupy consistency (about 20-25 minutes). You can see how my watermelon went from bright and pink to pulpy and orangey.
Strain the syrup to remove any remaining watermelon pieces. Set the watermelon infused simple syrup aside to cool.
Next, on to the watermelon juice/puree. I knew I wanted to get as much watermelon flavor into this drink as possible which meant using the remaining watermelon chunks in puree/juice form. I don’t have a juicer (despite wanting one) so my method was to puree the watermelon in my food processor and strain it. It seems like a lot of work but it wasn’t bad. You could puree/strain or juice the watermelon, either method works just fine.
Can you believe the beautiful color of this watermelon? It just screams summertime to me.
Straining the watermelon puree is simple – all you need is a strainer and big bowl.
Pour the puree into the strainer over a bowl and press down on the pulp with the back of a spoon to squeeze out all of the juice. You can save this pulp if you like! It’s delicious cold, could be frozen into ice cubes, or given to a wee one since it’s basically baby food.
Three cups of watermelon chunks should yield about two cups of juice.
Now it’s time to make the sangria!
In a large pitcher or carafe, add the nectarines, blueberries, watermelon juice, and cooled simple syrup. Stir to combine.
Pour chilled white wine over it and give it a good stir.
I highly recommend taste testing the batch before serving it. That way you can adjust to your own preferences. My version tasted more sweet/watermelony than it did boozey (John said “ooooh, that’s good”).
You can serve this sangria immediately or leave it in the fridge for a while. This recipe is a total make ahead and only gets better with time. Serve in a cute wine glass, garnish with some of the fruit, and enjoy! Cheers!