Watermelon-Rosemary Lemonade with Smashed Blackberries – try saying that five times fast! Or don’t. Just make it and sip on it while you enjoy time with friends or sit on a porch swing or just soak in those long days and warm nights of summer. Because that’s what this is: summer in a glass.
Make it ahead, take it to your next potluck or picnic, or spike it if you’re in need of something stiff. (It’s particularly tasty with white rum or a good gin or, as I’ve been enjoying it, with the tart, berry flavors of a sloe gin.) But drink it up while you can because just as soon as summer slips away so will the ingredients for this recipe.
remove the leaves from half of the sprigs
(from about 12 lemons)
Combine sugar, half of the water, and all the rosemary (sprigs and leaves) in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. When sugar is dissolved, remove from heat, and add remaining water. Set aside until flavor is well steeped (it should have a strong rosemary flavor but not taste bitter), about 30 minutes.
The rosemary syrup can be made up to 1 week in advance. Cool to room temperature, then strain off rosemary, and store refrigerated in an airtight container.
Meanwhile, cut watermelon rind off and discard then cut watermelon flesh into 1-inch pieces. Process watermelon in batches in a food processor until very smooth. Fill 1/2 to 3/4 full — it will take about 4 to 5 batches to puree. Be careful to not over fill the food processor, otherwise liquid will overflow. Strain twice through a sieve to remove pulp.
Place the berries in a large pitcher and smash on the berries with the back of a wooden spoon to roughly break up. Add watermelon juice, simple syrup, and lemon juice and stir to combine. Place in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly, at least 2 hours.
For an individual serving, fill a glass halfway with ice, fill 2/3 with lemonade then top with sparkling water, stir to combine, and serve. Or, to serve all the lemonade at once, add sparkling water to lemonade, stir to combine then serve over ice.
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkamp