Watermelon is renowned for being a summer fruit, but have you ever thought of making watermelon wine for summer?
Watermelon wine is a deliciously light beverage for the summer season and makes the perfect addition to any barbeque. Featuring a fresh, sweet flavor, watermelon wine is best made during the late spring and early summer when the watermelons are at their ripest.
In this article, I cover how to make watermelon wine at home with a few basic ingredients. So, next time the watermelon season rolls around, you’re as prepared as you can be!
Enjoy summer with homemade watermelon wine!
Without further ado, let’s begin.
Watermelon wine is a seasonal favorite, but you will need to plan ahead to enjoy this delicious beverage. For a nuanced flavor, you will need to store your homemade watermelon wine in a cool dark place for six months to a year.
Additionally, as watermelon is 92% water, you will need to make sure that you get the timing right to ensure you achieve the best flavor watermelon wine. Bearing this in mind, you’ll need to pick your watermelon when the fruit is at its ripest.
A guide on how to make watermelon wine
- 1 large, ripe watermelon
- 3lbs granulated sugar
- 1 tsp acid blend
- 1 tsp yeast nutrient
- 1 packet Red Star “Champagne” wine yeast
Equipment that you’ll need
- A saucepan
- A measuring jug
- 2-gallon fermenting bucket
- An airlock
- A funnel
- 1-gallon carboy
- Siphon hose
- Wine bottles
- You’ll need to start by preparing the watermelon. Start by slicing up the watermelon, discarding the rind as you go. Chop the watermelon flesh into 1″ cubes, and place them into a large saucepan.
Once all watermelon flesh and juice have been placed in the saucepan, heat over a medium heat. Be careful to stir and mash the watermelon until all of the flesh has broken down into a liquid. Remove from the heat.
- Next, you’ll need to measure out around 3.5 L / 14-15 cups of juice to make your wine. You can reserve any remaining juice to be drunk straight, or make cocktails with it!
- Strain the seeds out of the juice. In a large pot, combine the watermelon juice that you measured with the sugar. Heat to almost boiling, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and cover with a lid and allow to cool.
- Once the mixture has cooled to room temperature, add acid blend and yeast nutrient to it.
- Using a sanitized funnel, you will need to transfer the cooled mixture to a sanitized 2-gallon fermenting bucket.
- Once you have transferred the mixture, sprinkle yeast into the bucket and cover with a sanitized airlock. Allow it to sit, undisturbed, overnight.
- After you’ve allowed the mixture to sit for 24 hours, you should begin to notice fermentation activity such as bubbles in the airlock and carbonation. Once this has occurred, place the bucket in a cool, dry place and leave it alone, undisturbed for a month.
- Using sanitized equipment, rack the clarified wine off the sediment into a clean, freshly sanitized 1-gallon carboy. To rack the wine, place the end of a siphon hose into your fermenting bucket about an inch from the bottom.
Then suck the hose to start the siphoning process. The watermelon wine will start to move through the tube once you get it started. Place the other end of your tube in the carboy. When all the wine has been transferred, seal the carboy with a sanitized airlock. Allow it to sit for another 2-3 months undisturbed.
- After this time period has passed, you will need to repeat the racking process again. Following this, you will need to leave the wine alone for another 1-2 months. After around 6 months, your wine should appear clear.
- At this stage, you’ll want to rack the watermelon wine a few more times before it can be enjoyed. When your wine stops showing signs of fermenting activity for a month or so (no bubbles in the airlock and no sediment has stopped being produced) you can then bottle it up to be enjoyed.
- Using a sanitized funnel, pour the wine into clean, sanitized wine bottles. Following on from this, cork the bottles.
- Enjoy the fruits of your labor!
Notes on making watermelon wine
Pick the right watermelon – Picking the right watermelon is incredibly important to making the most delicious wine. Watermelon wine is best made with summer produce when the watermelons are the ripest because there isn’t a frozen version of fresh watermelon! Bearing this in mind, you’ll need to plan accordingly and pick the juiciest fruit for the best flavor.
Make more watermelon wine than you’ll need – Making homemade wine takes time. As the process takes from 6 months to a year, make sure that you make more wine than you think you need.
If you’re going to the effort of making your own watermelon wine, you’ll want to ensure that you make enough for everyone to enjoy some! You don’t want to be in a position where you run out of watermelon wine half way through the summer season.
Chop the watermelon in a baking tray – Chopping up a watermelon can become very messy, very quickly. To make sure you save all the juice, place your chopping board on a baking sheet that has sides. As you chop, the juice will be caught and you can add it to the saucepan as you go.
What does watermelon wine taste like?
There’s no denying that watermelon is the fruit of summer. However, as watermelon is a very watery fruit, watermelon wine tastes the best when it is made sweet.
While dry watermelon wine doesn’t really taste of anything and can be quite bland, sweet watermelon wine is a summertime favorite that’s fresh and fruity with cucumber notes. Provided that the watermelons are ripe and juicy, you’ll be left with a wine that has a light, refreshing flavor that is perfect for the summer.