Watermelon and lime combine forces in this simply delightful recipe for Agua de Sandia, a traditional Mexican beverage that will refresh you all summer long. If you love aguas frescas, this sweet, thirst-quenching drink is for you! As a bonus, all you need to make this yummy recipe is a watermelon, some fresh lime, sugar, and a blender. 

    pitcher of agua de sandia with two cups filled with the watermelon agua fresca and garnished with mint    

Summer is (un)officially here, and with it’s arrival came my absolute favorite fruit – WATERMELON! Whether you opt for the seedless variety or the conventional ones (with all the seed spitting contests that are sure to ensue), this watermelon agua fresca is the best way to welcome fun in the sun.

What is Agua de Sandia?

Agua de Sandia is literally translated to “watermelon water” and is one of the most beloved types of aguas frescas around! This lightly sweetened beverage is made by blending watermelon, water, and lime juice with just a touch of simple syrup for the most delicious concoction around. 

If you’re unfamiliar with aguas frescas, they are like juices but lighter. Homemade aguas frescas are made with fresh produce (like watermelon in this recipe, or cucumbers in my agua de pepino recipe) blended with water. They are much healthier and more natural than the majority of bottled beverages for sale. While many do include sugar, remember that they are only lightly sweetened and use real, natural cane sugar.

halved watermelon and halved lime on a wooden cutting board

Why I Love This Recipe

Watermelon is one of those flavors that I just can’t wait to taste each year. Whether you put it in a martini, frozen margarita, margarita on the rocks with mezcal, turn it into a mule or sprinkle it with Tajín, I’m all for it. It’s sweet, refreshing and just screams “summer!” Everything about watermelon reminds me of simpler times spent with my grandma, Jesusita.

This yummy watermelon agua fresca is one of the purest ways to celebrate this lovely fruit. When you break down the ingredients, you really just need three things: watermelon, lime, and a bit of sugar. Easy!

And if you thought having a short ingredient list was cool, you’re sure to love how simple this agua de sandia is to make. Simply toss a few things in a blender, pour through a mesh sieve and refrigerate. The whole thing takes just five minutes to make! 

Both kids and adults love this refreshing watermelon lime cooler, making it the perfect addition to your holiday grill outs, family barbecues, and pool days. I double dog dare you to find a better way to get hydrated than by guzzling this yummy agua de sandia.

How to Choose a Perfect Watermelon

Since agua de sandia is primarily made with watermelon, it’s important that you choose the very best one. First, be sure to find a melon that seems heavy for its size; that means it’s filled with juicy goodness! 

cubed watermelon in a bowl

Next, look at the skin. Contrary to what you might think, you want a dull looking exterior. If it’s shiny, put ‘er back. If you are grabbing a striped variety, you should also look for strong, contrasting stripes.

Now it’s time to examine the field spot. (That’s the place where the watermelon rested on the ground as it grew.) You want a field mark that is yellow, not white. If it’s white, it was likely picked too young. The stem should also be yellow/brown. If it’s green, it was picked too young.

Now that you know how to pick the best watermelon around, follow this easy tutorial to cutting it into cubes

How to Make Watermelon Agua Fresca

This recipe is so easy, you’re going to flip. Grab your cubed watermelon, lime juice, simple syrup, and a blender.

simple syrup in a mason jar

TIP: Need to make simple syrup? Simply combine 2 cups water with 1 cup sugar. In a saucepan heat until the sugar has melted, then remove from heat and let cool. Store any extra syrup in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Purée half of the cubed watermelon, water, and simple syrup in a blender. Pour through a course strainer into a large pitcher. Repeat with the remaining watermelon, water, and simple syrup. Stir in lime juice.

straining watermelon agua fresca into a honeycomb pitcher

Refrigerate until very cold. Before serving, stir. If desired, garnish with lime slices and mint. That’s it! I have a feeling this is a recipe you’ll be playing on repeat during the sunny season. 🙂

overhead shot of agua de sandia in a glass on a colorful striped cocktail napkin

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I spike my agua de sandia?

Yes, and I love where your head is at. In fact, if you want to make more fun adult beverages, check out my post on spiked aguas frescas. Salud!

Can I make aguas frescas ahead of time?

Yep! This agua de sandia is best served very cold, so give yourself at least 4 to 5 hours of chilling time when you make it. I prefer drinking agua fresca the day that it is made for the best flavor, but leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also pour any leftovers into popsicle molds for super refreshing summer treats!

Is seedless watermelon as good as conventional watermelon?

While I love the old-school watermelons for those lovely black seeds (I was a seed spitting champion back in the day), seedless watermelons will taste just as good.

More Summertime Favorites

Need more recipe ideas for the warmer weather? I can help with that. Check out some of my other favorites:

If you tried my easy recipe for Watermelon Agua Fresca (Agua de Sandia), please rate and review it below!

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two glasses of agua de sandia with a pitcher of watermelon agua fresca in the background

Agua de Sandia

5 (2 ratings)
If you love watermelon then this recipe is for you. Sweeten to suit your personal taste. You have all summer to make it happen and if you find some seeds in your watermelon why not have a seed spitting contest.

Ingredients

  • 8 cups cubed seeded watermelon, divided
  • 1/2 cup water, divided
  • 3/4 cup simple syrup, divided
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • Lime slices to garnish
  • Mint leaves as a garnish

Instructions 

  • Puree half of the cubed watermelon, water, and simple syrup in a blender. Pour through a course strainer and into a large pitcher. Repeat with the remaining watermelon, water, and sugar. Stir in lime juice.
  • Refrigerate until very cold. Before serving stir and garnish with lime slices and mint if desired.

Notes

  • Makes 2 quarts. 
  • Make simple syrup ahead of time and use after it’s cooled. To make simple syrup combine 2 cups water with 1 cup sugar. In a saucepan heat until the sugar has melted, then remove from heat and let cool. 
  • Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also pour any leftovers into popsicle molds for super refreshing summer treats!
  • Store any extra syrup in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
Calories: 132kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 20mg, Potassium: 199mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 33g, Vitamin A: 865IU, Vitamin C: 15mg, Calcium: 15mg, Iron: 2mg

Photography by Jenna Sparks

Originally published: June 2011. This recipe is also published in the Muy Bueno cookbook.