Chef John's Watermelon Agua Fresca


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 fresca. It's one of life's great drinkable pleasures.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Additional Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
1 2-quart pitcher


  • ½ seedless watermelon

  • 2 cups cold water

  • ½ cup white sugar, or to taste

  • ½ cup water


  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.

    an iced glass of bright red watermelon drink with condensation on the glass, garnished with a lime wheel
    "So refreshing!". Doughgirl8

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.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

177 Calories
1g Fat
45g Carbs
2g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 177
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Sodium 7mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 45g 16%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Total Sugars 40g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 30mg 152%
Calcium 29mg 2%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 421mg 9%

* 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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