For a party, make this wine cooler ahead of time, and keep in the refrigerator. Just before your guests arrive, pour into a pitcher with a container of ice cubes on the side, and you're all set with a signature drink for your guests!Jump to Recipe
Want to make this recipe perfectly the first time? I want to help with that. So, check out this Table of Contents to see which sections of this post will help you the most.
Watermelon is a perfect dessert, salad or drink in the summer. Offering a signature drink, like this watermelon wine cooler, at your next BBQ is fun and easy. And because wine coolers typically use very inexpensive wines, they fit into most budgets.
Other watermelon ideas for a summer BBQ that I love to make are a Watermelon and Peach Salsa, which can also be served as a salad, and a classic, easy Watermelon Salad with Feta. For dessert, it's sooooo easy to grill slices of watermelon, and then squirt the slices with lime, and scatter some mint over the top. Or make skewers of melon balls marinated in honey, ginger and lime. They make a great appetizer or dessert.
🤷♀️ What is a wine cooler?
So, what actually is a wine cooler? A wine cooler is loosely defined as a fizzy combination of an inexpensive wine, some kind of fruit juice, carbonated water and sugar. Bartles & Jaymes and Seagrams were huge players with a variety of flavors.
Think of them as adult soda pops with an alcoholic content similar to beer.
They were super popular in the 1980's, but suddenly disappeared from the market due to the way wine was suddenly taxed. The closest thing today is White Claw hard seltzer that has a 5% alcohol content.
🧅 Main Ingredients + Notes
The secret to faster and easier meals often lies in the ingredients. For example, store-bought items and ingredients you make ahead and store in the refrigerator (or freezer) can turn a 60-minute recipe into a 30-minutes meal or less.
For the all of the ingredients, measurements and directions, go to the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post.
- Seedless watermelon - be sure it's seedless, since you don't want to spend time removing the seeds!
- Cheap white wine - I used a Gallo Riesling wine.
- Lime juice
- Fresh mint syrup - make your own mint syrup or purchase a bottle. It's so easy, though, to make it yourself, and fresher!
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📝 Instructions Overview
Detailed instructions for making this wine cooler are in the recipe card below, but here's an overview!
Make the mint syrup. If you choose to make your own syrup stir equal amounts of sugar and water together in a small pan over medium heat until the sugar completely dissolves. Add the mint leaves and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.
Keep refrigerated until needed. It will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.
Make the watermelon juice. While the mint syrup cools, cut a seedless watermelon in half. Place it with the cut side facing down on a work surface. Using a sharp chef's knife, cut away the rind and discard.
Chop the watermelon into 1-inch cubes, place in a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade, and whirl like crazy until the watermelon is completely liquified.
Strain the liquid through 2 layers of cheesecloth to remove the pulp. But this is strictly optional. A lot of people like watermelon juice with the pulp.
Note: 1 small seedless watermelon makes around 8 cups, cubed, and about 4 ½ - 5 cups of juice with the pulp.
Mix. Stir together all of the ingredients. Pour into a pitcher and chill until you're ready to serve.
Serve over ice with a sprig of mint.
📇 Other Summer Cocktails You Need Tonight
- Sgroppino (Italian Cocktail) - if you're not familiar with this cocktail, it's like a Prosecco slushie.
- Easy Peruvian Pisco Sour
Watermelon Wine Cooler with Lime and Mint Syrup
- ½ small seedless watermelon
- 3 cups white Riesling
- 3 tablespoons mint syrup or to taste
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 ounces club soda
- Make the watermelon juice. Cut a seedless watermelon in half. Place it with the cut side facing down on a work surface. Using a sharp chef's knife, cut away the rind and discard.Chop the watermelon into 1-inch cubes, place in a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade, and whirl like crazy until the watermelon is completely liquified.Strain the liquid through 2 layers of cheesecloth to remove the pulp. But this is strictly optional. A lot of people like watermelon juice with the pulp.Note: 1 small seedless watermelon makes around 8 cups of cubed watermelon, and about 4 ½ - 5 cups of juice with the pulp. The amount of juice you get from your watermelon will depend on the size of the watermelon, how juicy it is, and the amount of pulp you include.
- Mix. Stir in the wine, mint syrup, lime juice, and club soda. Pour into a pitcher and chill until ready to serve.
- Serve over ice with a sprig of mint.