How to Make Watermelon Water (Agua de Sandia)

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There's nothing quite like a tall glass of ice-cold watermelon water on a hot summer day. And when it comes to refreshing fresh fruits, watermelon is king. Packed with the sweetness of watermelon, tangy lime juice, and  sugar, this easy-to-make agua fresca de sandia is a perfect taste of summer!

Love refreshing summer drinks? Try my Pineapple Agua Fresca, this Watermelon Vodka Cocktail, my copycat Chick-fil-A Watermelon Mint Lemonade, or yummy Strawberry Vodka Lemonade.

overhead view of a glass of watermelon water mocktail with lime slices and flowers

What are Aguas Frescas?

So what even is watermelon water? It's a type of agua fresca, which are non-alcoholic drinks made from sugar, water, and fresh fruits.

As history has it: aguas frescas, which translates to 'fresh waters', were created by the Aztecs --many moons before colonizers invaded-- as a way to stay hydrated, pounding fruits they bought from the markets in Tenochtitlán (sources say they picked them along the rivers around the city as well) and gathering ice from the tops of dormant volcanoes.

And they've been popular ever since! Aguas frescas are made using many different fruits like pineapples, cucumbers, cantelope, tamarind, strawberries, and more.

Then in the 1940's when the borders between the U.S. and Mexico were open, street vendors from Mexico would cross with street carts selling aguas frescas and paletas of all kinds, refreshing and perfect for those hot summer days!

Watermelon agua fresca, aka agua de sandia, is one of my absolute favorite drinks to make in the summertime. It's light, hydrating, and bursting with sweet watermelon flavor.

And the best part? It's so easy to make. All you need is some fresh watermelon, water, a touch of sugar, and add some lime juice for a bright citrusy kick.

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Why You'll Love this Watermelon Agua Fresca Recipe

  • Homemade watermelon water is so refreshing - watermelon contains a really high water content percentage, so that thirst will be quenched on any hot day.
  • Watermelon has many health benefits - not only are you making a refreshing watermelon drink that's really delicious, but also really good for you! Watermelon is filled with natural electrolytes, amino acids, vitamin c, and more!
  • It will only take you about 2-3 minutes to make - blend up your ingredients and pour over ice. Boom, ready to party!

How to Choose a Good, Ripe Watermelon

  • It's stayed out in the sun: A perfectly sweet, ripe watermelon will have a large, golden-yellow field spot (that’s where the melon lies on the ground). It'll also look a bit beat up with 'webbing' scratches from the bees, according to my grandma, but it should not be lumpy or bruised.
  • The look at the grocery store: The vine stump should be browned rather than green, the rind will have a dull appearance instead of shiny, and it will be heavy for its size (Heavy = Extra juicy watermelon!). But make sure it doesn't have a flat bottom, that's an overripe melon.
  • How to thump a watermelon: Give it a good thump-thump with one hand while holding the melon, and listen for a deep vibration that reaches the other hand. If it's flat sounding, it's overripe. If it's a dull thud, it's done for and completely mushy. If it makes a 'ping' sound, it's an unripe melon.
  • Round melons: You also want to go for the round watermelons. Those are the female melons, which are sweeter watermelons than the long ones!

Equipment

  • High-powered blender - Let me tell you from experience, nothing is more terrifying than a blender that can't handle whatever you're blending. 
  • Mesh sieve - For straining the pulp and seeds out from the fresh juice for your agua fresca.
  • A Large Pitcher or drink dispenser - Choose one that's big enough for your watermelon water. Remember the recipe can be scaled up or down as needed!

Ingredients for Agua de Sandia

Full ingredients, measurements, and printable instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

You only need a handful of ingredients to make this ultra-refreshing watermelon drink:

watermelon water ingredients labeled
  • Fresh Watermelon - Using seedless melons saves you the hassle of having to remove the seeds from the watermelon, which can be a tedious and time-consuming task. Additionally, seedless watermelon tends to be sweeter and juicier than watermelon with seeds. This is because the energy that the watermelon plant would use to create seeds is instead directed towards producing more fruit, resulting in a sweeter and juicier watermelon.
  • Cold Water - If possible, opt for filtered water for the best taste. I suggest refrigerating it beforehand so you can dive right into your watermelon-infused water immediately after blending.
  • Lime Juice or Lemon Juice - this gives us some brightness to cut through the sweetness.
  • Granulated Sugar - White sugar has a neutral flavor that allows the true beauty of the watermelon to shine through. Feel free to adjust the levels up or down as needed, to taste. You’re also welcome to use agave nectar or simple syrup, if you prefer.
  • Frozen Watermelon Chunks - While this is an optional touch, it’s highly recommended. Not only do the watermelon cubes act as ice cubes without diluting the flavor of your drink, but they also add a fun flourish that can be nibbled on when your glass is empty.

How to Make this Watermelon Water Recipe

watermelon chunks and water in a blender

Step 1 | Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

fresh watermelon water in a pitcher

Step 2 | Optionally, strain the agua fresca through a mesh sieve if you don't want it pulpy.

a glass of agua de sandia on a tray with lime wedges and mint

Step 3 | Serve this refreshing drink over ice and garnish with mint leaves, lime wedges, and edible flowers for a beautiful mocktail!

Variations and Substitutions

  • Add in other fruits. Some of my favorites are strawberries, mangoes, cucumber, peaches (so good!), dragon fruit, and other summer goodies. 
  • Blend in fresh herbs like mint or basil for an added twist.
  • Swap in lemonade in place of the sugar and water for delicious watermelon lemonade.
  • Get even more hydrated - by adding coconut water (full of electrolytes!) in lieu of the regular stuff.
  • Too high in sugar? Keep the sugar out - wtrmln WTR, a popular store-bought watermelon juice, has no added sugar so you can make your own version of the tasty drink without paying $5 per bottle.
  • Mix up a batch of watermelon cocktails! Add in your favorite tequila, white rum, or vodka to the pitcher of agua fresca, to taste. I can't tell you how much tequila you can handle, but we like about 2-3 ounces of spirits per 6 ounces of watermelon agua fresca. One of my favorite watermelon drinks to make: Muddle mint, lime, and sugar in your glass and add 2-3 ounces of rum for a Watermelon Mojito. YUM!

Pro Tips

  • Don’t overfill the blender. Trust me, that’s not a mess you want to clean up.
  • Use chilled ingredients. Starting with cool water and refrigerated watermelon means you can drink your agua fresca straight from the blender. Exercising patience when something so delicious is on the line is not the easiest task!
  • Freeze leftovers into popsicle molds for a healthy, sweet treat this summer.
  • Use a seedless watermelon - no one wants to pick out a bunch of seeds to make something that otherwise takes less than a couple of minutes.

Serving Suggestions

Watermelon agua fresca is like summertime in a glass! This refreshing drink is made with juicy, ripe watermelon blended with cool water and sweetened to perfection.

  • Serve it up at your next backyard BBQ, picnic in the park, or pool party. It's a great way to quench your thirst on a hot summer day and impress your guests with a delicious and unique beverage. 
  • It's also a great mocktail option! You’re always welcome to offer up your favorite spirits on the side for folks to mix up their own cocktails.
  • Oh, and you know that saying “if it grows together, it goes together?” That totally applies here! Serve this deliciously refreshing watermelon juice alongside all your summer favorites, from grilled meats and veggies to potato salad. It’s also a natural choice for any Mexican or Tex-Mex-inspired meals like fajitas, fish tacosguacamole, or queso.
a glass of watermelon water with ice on a wood coaster

Storage and Freezing Instructions

Storage: Watermelon agua fresca should be stored in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to 3-4 days if kept refrigerated.

Store the agua fresca in an airtight container or pitcher with a lid to prevent it from absorbing any odors or flavors from other foods in the fridge.

Before serving, give the container or pitcher a good stir to ensure that the ingredients are well mixed.

Freezing: If you want to store watermelon agua fresca for longer than 3-4 days, you can freeze it in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. Thaw in the refrigerator and give it a good shake before serving. It also makes for delicious ice cubes and popsicles!

N Keep in mind that the texture and taste of the agua fresca may change slightly after it's been frozen and thawed. It's best to consume it within a few weeks of freezing.

FAQs

What are some watermelon juice benefits?

Watermelon is over 90% water, making it an excellent way to stay hydrated. Drinking watermelon juice can help you maintain proper hydration levels, especially during hot weather or after exercise.

Watermelon is a good source of several essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene. In fact, drinking watermelon juice before exercise may help reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery time. Who needs Gatorade when you have this delicious homemade Mexican watermelon drink?

Does watermelon water have electrolytes?

Watermelon water contains some electrolytes, but the exact amount may vary depending on how it's made. 

Potassium is especially abundant in watermelon, with a medium-sized watermelon containing around 640 milligrams of potassium. This makes watermelon a good natural source of this essential nutrient. However, when watermelon is turned into watermelon water, the concentration of electrolytes may be diluted depending on the amount of water used in the recipe.

To boost the electrolyte content of watermelon water, some people may add other ingredients such as coconut water or Himalayan salt, which are both good sources of additional electrolytes. 

Some of my Favorite Summer Drinks 

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📖 Recipe

overhead view of a glass of watermelon water mocktail with lime slices and flowers

Watermelon Water (Agua de Sandia)

Eden Westbrook
Enjoy an easy to make and seriously refreshing watermelon agua fresca (Agua de Sandia). Watermelon water is perfect for those hot summer days, full of electrolytes for great hydration.
5 from 24 votes
Prep Time 7 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 10 cups
Calories 82 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 8 cups seedless watermelon cut into chunks
  • 4 cups cold water
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar or to taste (start with 2 tablespoon if you don't like sweet drinks)
  • Ice
  • Frozen watermelon cubes for garnish, optional
  • Edible flowers lime slices, mint, for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Combine the chunks of watermelon and cold water in a large, powerful blender. Blend on high until the watermelon is completely pureed.
  • Add in sugar, pulse on high. Taste, and add more sugar if necessary.
  • Optional: strain the watermelon juice through a mesh sieve if you want it to be completely smooth without pulp.
  • Serve chilled over ice. Garnish with mint, lime slices, and edible flowers.

Notes

Make-Ahead & Storage

Watermelon agua fresca should be stored in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to 3-4 days if kept refrigerated.
Store the agua fresca in an airtight container or pitcher with a lid to prevent it from absorbing any odors or flavors from other foods in the fridge.
Before serving, give the container or pitcher a good stir to ensure that the ingredients are well mixed.
If you want to store watermelon agua fresca for longer than 3-4 days, you can freeze it in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. Thaw in the refrigerator and give it a good shake before serving. It also makes for delicious ice cubes and popsicles!
Note: Keep in mind that the texture and taste of the agua fresca may change slightly after it's been frozen and thawed. It's best to consume it within a few weeks of freezing.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 82kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 1gSodium: 23mgFiber: 1gSugar: 17g
Tried this recipe?Leave a star rating and let us know!

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15 Comments

  1. Couldn't resist your suggestion to add dragon fruit to this watermelon agua fresca and it was SO good! Thank you for sharing.

  2. This is my new favorite summer drink! It’s so refreshing! I use a tbsp of honey instead of sugar and it’s so delish!

  3. Katrina Adams says:

    This Watermelon Agua-Fresca is so refreshing!! I love it!!

  4. Chef Mireille says:

    Although I've made agua fresca before, never before did I do it with watermelon. Thanks for the idea. The watermelon version was so refreshing on this HOT AS HELL day we are having today. I actually put it in the freezer for a bit to make it kind of a slushie since the day I was so hot and it was fab!

  5. I was SO annoyed after leaving a local taqueria and drinking their sandia agua fresca that I made it my mission to find one that actually tastes the way watermelon juice should. Your recipe put theirs to shame, but restored my hope in aguas frescas. I'll skip theirs in the future and bring a bottle of yours, instead.

  6. This is so delicious and hits the spot when I'm craving something sweet and cooling! I've been missing the juices at my farmer's market so I love being able to make this at home!

  7. This drink was a huge hit at our family brunch! Everyone was asking for the recipe!

  8. Thank you for this!!! Such a delightful recipe and your pictures are lovely!

  9. Jessica Kirk says:

    Amazing recipe for a hot southern day. Love that its not super sweet! Yum Yum!

  10. So good and refreshing. We took your suggestion and made watermelon lemonade.

  11. It's been SO hot here, so making this yesterday was the best thing I could have done. It's so refreshing and easy. New favorite summer drink!

  12. Brittany Fiero says:

    This recipe was so refreshing and enjoyable for my whole family. It's so flavorful and easy to make. Next time, I'll take your tip and add a little rum for us grown ups!

  13. I made this today to combat the summer heat. So refreshing and delish!

  14. This was incredibly refreshing! We actually went for 2 tablespoons of sugar and it was sweet enough for us! We had a bunch of ripe watermelons and it was time to use them up. Perfect for summer - especially with how hot it has been out here in California. Thank you so much for this recipe!!!! We loved it!

  15. renia Butler says:

    Loved making this Watermelon Auga Fresca. It's the perfect sip for summer!