Watermelon Juice

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Watermelon Juice  | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

I was not a big fan of watermelon growing up.  When my brother-in-law introduced watermelon juice to me years ago, I was reluctant to try but ended up being surprised by how delicious it was.

Watermelon Juice | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Growing up, watermelon was the most common fruit during the summer time in Japan.  We usually spent the summer in my grandparents’ home in Osaka.  They have a big backyard and I remember having watermelon seeds spitting contents with my brother to see who can spit farther.

I also remember eating watermelon with my late grandpa on the porch after helping him tend the garden.  When my family went camping, we would put the watermelon in the river to cool and played a traditional Japanese game called suikawari (スイカ割り).

Suikawari is a game where everyone takes turn to smash watermelon with a stick while blindfolded.  The rule is similar to piñata except you play with a watermelon.  Each person is blindfolded, spun around three times, and handed a wooden stick to strike with.  The first to crack the watermelon open wins, and everyone enjoys the chunks of watermelon afterwards.

Hope you try playing Suikawari and making watermelon juice this summer!

Watermelon Juice | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

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Watermelon Juice
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 1 glass of watermelon juice
  • 2 cups chopped watermelon
  • Juice from ¼ lime
  • 1 Tbsp. simple syrup
  • A slice of lime for garnish (optional)
  • Mint leaves for garnish (optional)
  1. Cut the watermelon into chunks removing the rind and seeds. Place the chunks into a bowl and let them cool in refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
  2. In blender, combine watermelon, lime juice and simple syrup and puree.
  3. Pour into the glass and garnish with a slice of lime and mint leaves (optional). Chill before serving if you like.
You can replace simple syrup with regular sugar if you want to save the time.

If you prefer to remove pulp, strain through a fine sieve. You will also need to double the portions for each ingredient per glass.

Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.


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  1. Oh we don’t beat our watermelons but we love eating them and juicing them. Lately my husband has been literally juicing them, cramming watermelon pieces into our wheat grass juices, to separate the fiber from the juice. Kids love it! Stay cool!

  2. I want to drink this all up right now. This post is so refreshing. Love your description of the ‘watermelon-smashing’ game. I never knew about it, but now glad to learn. Thanks for sharing this thirst-quenching recipe, Nami!

  3. Suikawari sounds like a lot of fun. Messy, but fun! I love watermelon – it’s our usual breakfast at this time of the year, and we often go through a couple of seedless ones each week. I’ve not made watermelon juice, but I must – it sounds so delsh. Very refreshing. Thanks for this!

  4. Interesting game, spitting the seeds sounds like fun…
    The idea of drinking a tall glass of watermelon juice with lime, make me feel cool, chill and calm. Thanks Nami, I have a huge watermelon sitting on my countertop staring at me for couple of days. We are lazy to eat it slice by slice sometimes, this is a good alternative, and you get all the nutrients in one go.

  5. How refreshing Nami! The summer here is killing and juices are consumed like crazy. I can get real sweet watermelon this season, and would love to try your recipe :)

  6. Yum, this looks so refreshing! Love the vibrant color of this watermelon juice. The addition of lime and syrup make this the perfect drink to cool down with. Stunning photos too Nami :)

  7. Watermelon juice is possibly the most refreshing beverage on the planet! this sounds like an amazing drink for a hot summer weekend. Love it!

  8. I love watermelon juice so much! I find the extra sugar/syrup not necessary as the fruits is already very sweet. I’ve never thought about adding lime to the watermelon juice, although growing up my grandma would add it in her papaya juice. So great tidbit!

  9. That watermelon game sounds a lot more healthy than what we see coming out of a pinata! I love watermelon juice and find it very refreshing during hot weather. I love your jar/glass, Nami xx

  10. Jayne

    haha.. that game sounds like so much fun! Even better if the watermelon is super cold. We eat tons of watermelon here, since it’s rather warm and humid most days. Really cools us down and keeps us hydrated well. One of our very favourite fruits.

  11. We have yet to buy a watermelon this season. Prices are finally getting good around here so I think this week will be our first taste of watermelon for the summer. I love the watermelon game you play… it sounds like something both kids and adults would enjoy. :)

    The drink looks amazing. :)

  12. Your story is very interesting to me, because I could have written it! :) I have the exact same memories growing up in Louisiana. Granddaddy was a farmer and had a huge watermelon patch, spitting seeds (which you can’t find in watermelons today), smashing watermelons and eating the chucks… Amazing! However, two differences – I’ve always loved watermelon and my memories are AT LEAST 2 decades earlier than yours. :) Great story Nami! Love the watermelon juice! The watermelons I’ve been getting this year have been so sweet that sugar hasn’t really been needed, but I do like your idea of using a simple syrup. Will definitely have to remember that as we get later in the season and the quality of the melons probably go down. Thoroughly enjoyed your post!

    • Hi MJ! Your comment made me very excited and happy, MJ! Two different countries with almost same summer watermelon memory! Thank you for your kind comment. xoxo

  13. Delightful! That is the only way you’ll see me enjoying watermelon (I’m not a big fan of that fruit – too sweet and bland, in my opinion). 😉



  14. Nami, your watermelon juice looks just heavenly chilling… I rarely do other things than eating the watermelon as it is, apart from cocktails 😉 This drink looks perfect as it is, but I’m sure a bit of tequila of gin would go very well with watermelon too!

  15. Linda | The Urban Mrs

    LOL – the seeds spitting contest sound like fun but I don’t think I will ever win that. Watermelon juice sounds very refreshing especially since Summer is here.

  16. Orchidea

    Hi, this is a nice drink and I will try it… I love watermelon and I look forward to summer every year to eat a lot of it! I never tried this juice by I will.
    Have a nice vacatin with your family in Japan! We will be in Italy for vacation this summer, so looking firward to it.

  17. Oh Nami, summer is sizzling here and I couldn’t be happier, although a large glass of this refreshing watermelon juice would certainly make the warm evening even better. Happy summer to you!

  18. I don’t remember having a lot of fruit in our house growing up but we always seemed to have watermelon when we grilled. This looks delicious and perfect for our hot weather.

  19. I love watermelon during the warm summer months. I remember eating watermelon with my grandma and swinging on the porch swing. She always sprinkled a little salt on her watermelon. Your recipe looks similar to a recipe I posted recently. Watermelon makes such a great agua Fresca.

  20. suikawari sounds like fun. At least, it’s “healthier” than piñata! hahaha….cos the kids get to eat some fruit, and not candies, afterwards. 😛 My family is huge fans of watermelon anything; Juice, chunks, balls, frozen, salad, etc. Good that you like watermelon juice now. It’s so refreshing. I love your childhood memories associate with watermelon. hehehe….although the seed spitting contest, sounds like fun, I hate watermelon with seeds. 😛

  21. :O I thought watermelon was something that everyone likes! haha…. Suikawari sounds like such a fun game!! I remember seeing it in some anime and thinking that it would be pretty dangerous since you’d need to whack a lot harder than with a pinata 😉 Mmm….your watermelon juice looks delicious too! 😀

  22. I’m with you Nami , I do not enjoy so much eating watermelon, but I love watermelon juice.
    Combined with lime juice there is nothing more delicious and refreshing in summer!

  23. Hi Nami, I always like to eat all the seeds and store them in my mouth and then “machine-gun” them out at my target… sister, wife, cat… nothing is safe from my game!

    We bought a watermelon this weekend but surprisingly, ended up eating almost all of it already. I was considering making a juice when I bought it, so it’s very fortuitous timing that you posted this. They’re very cheap at the moment so I’ll probably buy more and make juice next time.

    • Hahahahaha! Machine-gun… that’s a good trick! I can see myself competing with my younger brother. 😀

      Watermelon is not cheap in Japan, so I don’t see myself making it into juice… 😉

  24. I think this would be the best summer drink, so refreshing! Then just for fun, add a splash of tequila, rum or vodka….YUM! Delicious, Hugs, Terra

    • Thank you so much for trying this recipe Alex! Yes, if the watermelon is already very sweet naturally, you do not need to add sugar or syrup at all. :)

  25. Julie B.

    Enjoyed reading this. I went to Japan only once to visit my grandparents with my family, but since I was only five at the time, I don’t remember much. However I do have a photo where we are all sitting around eating watermelon!

    • Hi Julie! I hope you get to visit Japan again! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I need to take many pictures when we’re in Japan, so that kids will remember when they grow up… :)

  26. Lom

    I am super glad that I discovered your site! I loooooove watermelon, and I was surprised by how easy it was to make such a refreshing juice. I’ll be drinking this for the rest of the summer!