Watermelon Beer

watermelon beer in pint glass with watermelon garnish on green background

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 drink
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
184 Calories
0g Fat
34g Carbs
2g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 184
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 10mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 24g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 19mg 93%
Calcium 23mg 2%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 305mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Make quick use of leftover watermelon and mix up a super fresh, very delicious watermelon beer. It's a variation on the popular shandy and, with just three ingredients, it mixes up in minutes.

The watermelon beer recipe pairs freshly muddled chunks of the summertime fruit with vanilla syrup. It's a perfect combination that's just waiting for your favorite wheat beer (one of the best styles for any shandy). The taste is crisp, fruity, and slightly sweet, creating one of the most refreshing beer drinks you'll enjoy all summer.

I lean towards brewed fruited beers and had not considered muddling my own fruit and adding the juice to my beer. Watermelon?! What a beautiful color! The vanilla syrup adds just a hint more sweetness that makes this summer drink a go-to.” —Mary Jo Romano

Watermelon Beer/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped watermelon, more if needed

  • 1/2 ounce vanilla syrup

  • 6 ounces wheat beer

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for watermelon beer gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. In a mixing glass, muddle the watermelon to extract the juice.

    watermelon in glass container with wooden muddler

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Transfer the watermelon to a fine mesh strainer. Press down and strain out the fruit pieces and any seeds. You'll need 6 ounces of watermelon juice.

    watermelon juice in glass bowl with mesh strainer full off watermelon pulp off to side

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Pour the vanilla syrup into a frosty glass, then fill with the watermelon juice.

    frosty beer mug with vanilla syrup and watermelon juice

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Top with the beer. Serve and enjoy.

    beer mug with watermelon beer

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck


  • When straining the watermelon, you can get a little extra juice by pressing the fruit into the strainer. Be sure to use a fine-mesh strainer to capture all the seeds and small pieces of fruit.
  • If you have a juicer, use that for the watermelon to maximize the juice yield. Store any excess in a tightly sealed bottle in the refrigerator and use it within a couple of days.
  • You can find vanilla syrup at most grocery stores because it's a popular flavor for sweetening coffee.
  • Vanilla syrup is also very easy to make at home. All you need is 2 cups of sugar, 1 cup of water, and a vanilla bean. Stir the sugar into boiling water, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour the syrup over a split vanilla bean in a heatproof jar. Let it steep for about 8 hours before removing the bean and bottling the syrup. It's even easier (and cheaper) with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract added to the hot syrup.
  • Watermelon beer can be made in any tall glass, no matter the volume. The point is to fill the glass half-way with the juice and syrup mix then fill it the rest of the way with beer.
  • You can certainly add ice if you like. It's not necessary if you use a chilled glass and ice-cold beer, though.

Recipe Variation

  • Make a pitcher of watermelon beer for a cookout or pool party. Increase the ingredients to fill your pitcher or for the number of servings needed. If you want to make it ahead of time, combine the watermelon juice and syrup. Hold the beer until it's time to serve.
  • Use plain simple syrup or agave nectar if you prefer. Basil or mint simple syrups would also be nice complements to the watermelon.
  • Add other melons to the muddle or try this beer recipe with honeydew or cantaloupe alone.
  • Give the watermelon beer a nice kick by adding a shot (1 1/2 ounces) of rum or tequila.

How Strong Is a Watermelon Beer?

Watermelon beer is a relaxing, low-proof drink. Basically, it will be half the strength of your beer. For example, pouring a wheat beer that has 5.5 percent ABV will result in a watermelon beer that's just 2.75 percent ABV. Add a shot of rum to that and its alcohol content will be slightly less than the beer (5 percent ABV).