Friday Happy Hour: Ginger Watermelon Cooler

I don’t always come up with the best ideas from scratch, but sometimes I’m pretty good with making stuff out of what we already have in the house. This cocktail came around because that was the situation last weekend.

It’s summertime, so watermelons are everywhere, including in our CSA basket. Don’t get me wrong, I love watermelon, but as a drink, I find it needs something more. Enter ginger syrup.

Living here in Barcelona, we have not been able to find ginger ale, so we’ve taken to making it ourselves, which first requires making a ginger syrup. Thus, we had some sitting in the refrigerator. It adds a nice spiciness to pair with the subtle sweetness of the watermelon. Add a little rum, a squeeze of lime and voilà! a tasty, summery and refreshing beverage.

And because it’s summertime, this is a great batch drink to make for a party. Mix everything ahead of time, put in a glass bottle, and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to start the party. Work your ratios off of the size of watermelon you have, and enjoy!

Friday Happy Hour: Ginger Watermelon Cooler


  • 150-160 ml (5 - 5.5 oz) watermelon purée
  • 50-60 ml (1.5- 2 oz) ginger syrup*
  • 45 ml (1.5 oz) dark rum
  • Squeeze of lime
  • Lime wheel for garnish


  1. Cut your watermelon (seedless is easier) into cubes, discard the rind.
  2. In a blender, food processor or using a hand blender, blend watermelon cubes into a smooth liquid.
  3. Run liquid through a sieve or strainer and discard the pulp.
  4. Combine the watermelon purée, ginger syrup, squeeze of lime and rum into a shaker full of ice.
  5. Shake until cold.
  6. Serve over ice in a highball glass.
  7. Garnish with lime wheel.
  8. Kick your feet back and chill.

To make ginger syrup:

Take 200 grams (7oz) of fresh peeled ginger and cut into slices.
Simmer in 240 ml (2 cups) of water for 40 minutes.
Turn heat off, let rest for another 20 minutes.
Strain ginger water through a fine strainer or coffee filter.
Return back to heat. Dissolve 180 ml (3/4 cup) of sugar into ginger water.
Remove from heat. Keep in sealed container in the refrigerator.