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K-Style Cafe Watermelon Juice (Extra Cold and Refreshing)

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Icy cold watermelon juice is one of the most popular summer drinks in Korea. This refreshing drink, made with frozen watermelon, water, and sugar, will cool you down in seconds during hot weather!

two glasses filled with frozen watermelon juice korean style

If you’ve been melting in this summer heat, ditch the fan and grab yourself a juicy watermelon, haha! Seriously though, watermelon juice (수박주스 – subak juice) is a huge hit as a summer drink in Korea. When the monsoon season hits and it gets super hot and humid, Koreans have all sorts of cool and refreshing drinks and food like iced lattes, bingsu, mul and bibim naengmyun (cold noodles with ice) and loads more.

In Korea, you’ll find watermelon juice (kinda like a slushie) at lots of cafes. And let me tell you, they’re as cold as ice! I always wondered how they made it so frosty until I watched some baristas in action. Turns out, some cafes use frozen watermelon, throw in some water and sweetener, while others blend refrigerated watermelon with ice.

So, I gave both a shot, and no doubt about it, using frozen watermelon gives you the absolute coldest drink!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE

  • Refreshing and cooling. The combination of frozen watermelon juice and ice cubes creates a refreshing and revitalizing sensation, helping to beat the heat.
  • Customizable sweetness. Whether you prefer a sweeter juice or are conscious about sugar intake, you can easily adjust the sweetness of this drink to suit your taste.
  • Hydrating and nutritious. Watermelon is known for its high water content, making it a hydrating choice. It’s also packed with essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C and lycopene, which provide various health benefits.
  • Easy to make. All you need is watermelon, water, and sugar. In just 2 minutes, you can have your own coffee shop-style drink.

Ingredients

  • frozen watermelon –  if possible, use seedless watermelon. However, if seedless watermelon isn’t available, make sure to remove as many seeds as possible when cutting the watermelon into chunks before freezing.
  • water – depending on the strength of your blender, you may need to add a little more water. If the blender isn’t completely blending the watermelon, add one tablespoon of water at a time until you achieve a slushy consistency. The slush will quickly melt and transform into a juice consistency.
  • sugar – in Korean cafes, sugar syrup is commonly used. However, for the convenience of this recipe, I usually add granulated sugar and blend it together with the watermelon. You can adjust the amount of sugar based on your desired level of sweetness.

Note: you can substitute sugar with stevia, but it’s best to avoid sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, or any other sweeteners with distinct flavors, as they can alter the natural watermelon taste.

  • ice cubes – using ice cubes is essential to achieve an icy cold drink. Opt for regular-sized ice cubes instead of trendy tiny ones, as the larger ones melt more slowly, keeping your drink extra cold.
frozen watermelon juice ingredients

How To Make this watermelon juice?

  1. Cut the watermelon into small chunks. If there are any seeds, remove as many as you can.
  2. Place the watermelon pieces into an airtight container and freeze them for at least one day until they are well-frozen.
  • How to freeze watermelon?

Cut the watermelon into thick 2 cm / 0.8 inch slices. Then, cut each slice into cubes or long sticks, making them easy to fit into an airtight container placed next to each other. Alternatively, you can also place the watermelon cubes in a zip bag.

  1. In a blender, combine the frozen watermelon chunks, water, and sugar. Blend until everything is well blended and you achieve a slush consistency. If the blender struggles due to the thickness, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time and continue blending until it reaches the desired consistency.
  2. Fill a glass with ice cubes, filling it up to about ⅔ of the glass.
  3. Pour the blended frozen watermelon juice over the ice cubes.
  4. To garnish, you can add one or two cubes of fresh or frozen watermelon on top of the juice.
4 step by step photos on how to make korean-style watermelon juice

How to serve it?

Serve the watermelon juice right away. Avoid refrigerating it to serve later on, as it may cause the juice to lose its desired consistency.

Emma’s Tips

  • Use frozen watermelon for an extra cold drink. While refrigerated watermelon can be used, the uniqueness of Korean-style watermelon juice lies in its extra cold temperature. Therefore, to achieve this, freezing the watermelon is essential.
  • Ensure you have a powerful blender, as frozen watermelon is nearly as hard as ice cubes. Low-quality blenders may struggle to blend the frozen watermelon chunks effectively.
  • Adjust the quantity of sugar to suit your desired level of sweetness.
  • Serve immediately. The blended juice tends to melt quickly, so it’s best to enjoy it right away.

RECIPE FAQ

You can do so, but note that the juice won’t be as cold, and the texture will be more liquid rather than slushie-like.

A hand mixer may not be powerful enough to effectively blend watermelon chunks. I recommend using a blender instead for better results.

You can omit the sugar however, it’s worth noting that sugar or sugar syrup adds dimension to the drink, enhancing its flavor. Without any sweetener, the juice may taste slightly bland.

In general, watermelon chunks will typically freeze in 3-4 hours. However, if you cut thicker or larger pieces, it may take a bit longer to freeze. To ensure that the watermelon chunks are completely frozen and solid, resembling the hardness of a rock, it’s advisable to leave them in the freezer for at least a day. This will ensure they are fully frozen and ready for use in making extra cold juice.

two glasses with korean-style watermelon juice and some pieces of watermelon on a white table

More cold summer drinks?

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two glasses filled with frozen watermelon juice

K-Style Cafe Watermelon Juice (Extra Cold and Refreshing)

Icy cold watermelon juice is one of the most popular summer drinks in Korea. This refreshing drink, made with frozen watermelon, water, and sugar, will cool you down in seconds during hot weather!
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Korean
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Servings: 1 drink
Calories per serving: 83kcal
Author: Emma Choi

Equipment

  • blender | powerful enough to blend frozen food

Ingredients

  • 200 g frozen watermelon | use seedless watermelon if possible (Note 1)
  • 120 ml water
  • ½ tbsp sugar (Note 2)
  • ice cubes

Instructions

  • Cut the watermelon into small chunks. If there are any seeds, remove as many as you can.
  • Place the watermelon pieces into an airtight container and freeze them for at least one day until they are well-frozen.
  • In a blender, combine the frozen watermelon chunks, water, and sugar. Blend until everything is well blended and you achieve a slush consistency. If the blender struggles due to the thickness, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time and continue blending until it reaches the desired consistency.
  • Fill a glass with ice cubes, filling it up to about ⅔ of the glass.
  • Pour the blended frozen watermelon juice over the ice cubes.
  • To garnish, you can add one or two cubes of fresh or frozen watermelon on top of the juice.

Notes

1. Watermelon – Try to get a seedless watermelon to avoid crushed seeds accumulating at the bottom of the glass. However, if your watermelon has seeds, that’s fine too. Just remove as many seeds as you can when you cut it before freezing. Furthermore, if you want an icy cold juice, make sure to freeze the watermelon. You can still make this recipe with refrigerated watermelon, but note that your drink won’t be as cold and refreshing.
2. Sugar – Adjust the amount of sugar according to your preferred level of sweetness.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 83kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 1gFat: 0.3gSaturated Fat: 0.03gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 8mgPotassium: 224mgFiber: 1gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 1138IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 0.5mg
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