The heat is beating down, and it’s prime time for cool sips and summer fruits. If you’ve been salivating over sun-kissed watermelon and Southern sweet tea, then this Summertime Watermelon Tea Refresher is the tea drink you’ve been waiting for — and it comes as a tea cocktail, too! It’s perfect for picnics, family gatherings, and front porch sipping.
Naturally, we’re going to start out with some cold-brewed iced tea. You’d think green tea would work well with watermelon, and you wouldn’t be wrong, but I love the way a good black tea adds depth to the sweetness of the melon. That’s why I chose our Royale Black Tea for this icy punch; the blend of malty Assam and citrusy Ceylon teas pairs beautifully with the light and juicy watermelon.
Speaking of that melon, I highly recommend getting a seedless variety unless you’d like to pick black seeds out of your drink all afternoon. This recipe calls for four cups of diced fruit, which for me ended up being half a medium-sized watermelon.
This drink can be made with or without alcohol, depending on the occasion or your preference. For kids and teetotalers, orange slices and lemon juice add a bit of extra panache, while the cocktail version takes its cues from triple sec and citrus-flavored vodka. A hint of fresh mint lends a cooling aspect without overpowering the melon.
We enjoyed sipping our Refreshers from giant Mason jars with colorful straws, but you can absolutely take a more elegant approach and serve from wine glasses if you wish. Add a few extra sprigs of mint for garnish and you’re good to go!
Summertime Watermelon Tea Refresher
- 4 tablespoons Royale Black Tea
- 4 cups cold water
- 3 1/2 cups diced watermelon (seedless or seeds removed)
- 2-4 tablespoons sugar, to taste
- bunch of fresh mint leaves
- 1 orange, sliced OR 2 ounces triple sec
- juice of 1 lemon OR 4 ounces citrus-flavored vodka
Add tea leaves and water to a 1-liter jar. Screw on lid and place in the fridge at least 4-6 hours or overnight. (Or use your favorite iced tea maker.)
In a large pitcher, place all other ingredients except for ice and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
Strain in tea and stir gently to combine.
Scoop some of the watermelon into glasses, add ice, pour in tea, and serve!