The Watermelon Gin Rickey

The Watermelon Gin Rickey ~ a super refreshing cocktail made with ripe summer fruit!


The Gin Rickey is an old classic, made with gin, a squeeze of lime, and carbonated water. A close cousin to the Tom Collins and the Gin Fizz,  all three go back to the early days of mixed drinks in this country. They’re ideal for summer: light, bubbly, with a hit of citrus. I’ve gone a step further and added fresh watermelon juice and a couple of crushed coriander seeds. The coriander echoes the spice flavors in the Bombay Sapphire gin.


I think this is the perfect idea if you’re having friends  over and you want one special drink to start everybody off with. I chose watermelon because it’s the very definition of refreshing. The flavor doesn’t overwhelm the gin, and its high liquid content means lots of juice. If you’re first thought is  ‘yuck, I hate the taste of watermelon’ you’re probably thinking about artificial, over sweetened watermelon flavor. I thought the fresh watermelon juice had a wonderful, delicate flavor. Give this one a chance.


All you have to do is pick up a watermelon, which they’re practically giving away right now. As a good cook and follower of this blog, I know you already have coriander seeds in your cupboard  🙂

TIP: every wonder how to choose a watermelon?

  • 1. Pick It Up: choose melons that feel heavy for their size.
  • Look for the Yellow Spot: watermelons have a blotch where they rest on the ground. When this splotch is creamy yellow, it’s ripe.
  • Give It a Thump: rap your hand on the melon ~ a ripe melon will sound hollow, whereas an under-ripe or over-ripe melon will sound dull.

If you love watermelon you need to try my SUMMER MELON SALAD ~ it’s an adorably creative fruit salad.

3 from 28 votes

The Watermelon Gin Rickey

Author Sue Moran


  • 2 coriander seeds
  • 2 oz 1/4 cup Bombay Sapphire Gin
  • 2 oz 1/4 cup fresh watermelon juice (directions below)
  • 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice about 1 lime
  • club soda or sparkling water to top up

For garnish

  • mint leaves
  • watermelon spear


  • To make the watermelon juice put 1 lb of roughly chopped watermelon (this will be approximately half of a mini watermelon) into a blender or food processor. Blend until pureed. Pour the puree through a sieve, and let sit in the refrigerator to drain. Don't push the pulp through, just let it drain. It will yield about 1 1/2 cups of juice.
  • Put the coriander seeds at the bottom of a cocktail shaker and crush lightly,
  • Add the gin, lime juice and 1/4 cup of the watermelon juice. Add ice and shake.
  • Pour over fresh ice and top up the glass with club soda or sparkling water.
  • Garnish with mint and a watermelon spear.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


  • Make your watermelon juice up to 3 days in advance.




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  • Reply
    July 7, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    Just made this with a deliciously sweet watermelon I bought. Unfortunately the flavor isn’t balanced. Despite the watermelon being sweet, we had to add simple syrup to balance the acid from the lime, as well as a bit more watermelon juice and tonic than called for. Obviously one watermelon can differ from the next, but this recipe may need a bit of an edit.

  • Reply
    Gerlinde in Dallas
    July 27, 2013 at 8:27 am

    I love what you have done to your site! It’s lovely! That watermelon gin rickey looks pretty darn good too!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    July 27, 2013 at 3:21 am

    Looks like I would be in double trouble!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    July 27, 2013 at 3:20 am

    I would be sloshed if I lived at your place. You make the most amazing drinks!

  • Reply
    Heather @girlichef
    July 26, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    I have everything to make myself this cocktail! I love the addition of coriander seeds…so unexpected. Your blog looks bea,utiful!

  • Reply
    Eva | Adventures in Cooking
    July 26, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    This sounds so wonderfully summery! Watermelon is such a refreshing fruit, it must pair with the gin beautifully. Wonderful photos, too! 🙂

  • Reply
    July 26, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Hi Sue!
    Gorgeous new site design! This cocktail sounds incredible….and now I must root around a bit more….everything sounds + looks delicious. Hope all is well. x

  • Reply
    Cathy at Wives with Knives
    July 26, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Hi Sue – Your blog is BEAUTIFUL and that gin rickey looks pretty good too. Nice on a 90 degree day that I’m getting pretty tired of, BTW. Cocktail time on a Friday evening is a nice end to the work week.

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