Watermelons are truly the perfect summer fruit. While it might seem like they’re having a trendy resurgence, the truth is that we wait all year for watermelon season. It’s just that brands like Seagrams with its new Watermelon Vodka have finally caught up to what the people want. Fresh watermelon is an instant crowd-pleaser, and because it’s so juicy, those watermelon cubes can soak up some serious booze. However, a new use for the watermelon has come to light over the past few summers: watermelon keg tapping.
Refreshing, delicious, and the perfect fruity vessel to make the perfect fruity drink dispenser. Yes, watermelons are practically begging to be turned into something and we are turning it into a keg. So grab a large watermelon, check out the video tutorial below, and follow along with our written steps.
Step 1: Slice to Stand
The how-to is super easy. Before you start, you want to make you watermelon stand. Using a sharp knife, slice away a thin piece of the watermelon rind on what will be the bottom. Just cut the skin, not the actual watermelon flesh so it stands upright.
Cut a ‘lid’ off the top of your watermelon. This time, use a paring knife to slice a neat circle that’s large enough to fit either a beater or your entire hand into if you’ll be using an ice cream scoop to scoop the watermelon flesh.
Step 2: Scoop to Fill
You have a few methods you can use here. The first is you can use an immersion blender to blend the inside of the watermelon together so it’s removed from the rind. Essentially, you’re creating a watermelon puree here.
The second option is depicted in the video, where you can attach a coring tool (in this case, a beater) to a drill. This method is a little more, unique, so take caution if you’re not used to operating power tools (especially if you’re already three sheets to the wind on vodka watermelon cocktail).
Additionally, you can simply use a large spoon and some elbow grease. No matter what method you use, empty all flesh and juice into a large bowl. Whether it’s glass, plastic, or stainless steel, that doesn’t much matter. As long as it can hold the entire contents of the watermelon, you’re in good shape.
Step 3: Bend to Tap
Finally, use an apple corer to make a hole just about two inches above the bottom of the watermelon. Attach a spigot or beverage dispenser tool to your new hole. Just be sure you cut high enough into the watermelon that it won’t bump the table, and low enough that you won’t need to agitate it too much should your fresh watermelon juice punch run low (it will, always).
For the tapping kit, Amazon is a great resource. Attach a spigot like the Final Touch Black Tap, which also works to turn your pumpkin into a keg come fall. At only $19.99, it basically pays for itself for the first barbecues.
Once your watermelon keg is all set up, you’re almost ready to start mixing!
Step 4: Strain to Mix
Whether or not you’re working with a seedless watermelon, you’ll want to strain the juice and flesh anyways. If you don’t carefully remove any watermelon chunks, they can clog the tap, preventing you from enjoying your favorite punch.
Simply take a large fine mesh strainer and run the juice and flesh through it in batches until you’re left with the pulpy bits that can’t be juiced anymore. Now, the time has come for your own watermelon punch.
To save dishes, just pour the watermelon juice back into the ‘keg’ and do all your mixing there, stirring with a large spoon. Once your mixing is complete, place the ‘lid’ back on, chill for a few hours in the refrigerator, and serve!
Now, for our favorite fresh watermelon juice recipes!
Booze-Free Mocktail: Agua Fresca
It's 98 degrees and I'm wishing I had more watermelon to whizz up this beauty ? Find my recipe for WATERMELON AGUA FRESCA (just melon, water + lime juice) on my @healthyaperture column, Cooking In Season. If you're feeling extra feisty, put it in a chili-sugar rimmed glass with a splash of tequila ? More ideas in the post!
Agua frescas, which translates to water refreshments from Spanish, are popular in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. They’re made from fruits blended with sugar and water to make a non-alcoholic beverage, perfect for a kiddie party or backyard BBQ!
1 cup finely chopped watermelon
7 cups coarsely chopped watermelon
6 cups watermelon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 large lime, juiced
1 serving of water (if needed)
Combine all ingredients in a hollowed watermelon. Garnish with watermelon wedges and mint.
You can add ice cubes to the liquid in your watermelon keg, but just be aware that they’ll water down whatever drink you’ve chosen. To account for that, feel free to go a little heavy-handed with the amount of each ingredient!
Boozy Cocktail: Party of Five
7.5 oz Seagrams Watermelon Vodka
5 oz Kronstad Aquavit
3.75 oz Fresh Lime juice
5 oz Pineapple juice
2.5 oz Luxardo Maraschino
Build in punch bowl or your hollowed watermelon. Top with crushed ice and enjoy! This recipe will happily serve five thirsty guests.
To make sure you have enough, double the recipe and serve half at a time. Simply reserve the second serving in a pitcher in the refrigerator and refill when the tap runs dry.