Cooking, Drinks & Beverages

Watermelon Hwachae

By: Jenny and Yoomi

For Koreans of long ago, adapting to seasonal conditions was a natural part of their everyday life. As such, in spring, they would prepare flower hwachae, in which azalea or plum flowers were added to omija punch. Then, as the summer heat and humidity peaked, people would drink fruit hwachae, which was garnished with watermelon, peach, or grapes, for refreshment and revitalization. In autumn, Koreans enjoyed hwachae with seasonal fruits, such as pear and citron. And in winter, they favored beverages that could provide an energy boost, such as sikhye (fermented rice punch), made from steamed rice that is fermented with malt water, and sujeonggwa (persimmon punch) to which persimmons are added to a punch made with ginger and cinnamon, along with various hwachae made with nuts and flower petals.

Although Koreans have enjoyed hwachae all year-round since ancient times, it is most often thought of as a summertime beverage. Without a doubt, the most popular type during the summer season is watermelon hwachae. Since watermelon contains high levels of water and sugar, it helps to relieve thirst and serves as a diuretic. Watermelon is also an effective remedy for kidney disorders, overcoming fatigue, and alleviating a fever, in addition to having a soothing effect. When people experience a loss of appetite or depletion of energy due to heavy perspiration during the sweltering and humid summer months, a cool watermelon hwachae can be an ideal source of refreshment and invigoration.

Ingredients: 1 watermelon, ½ cup of sugar, ice cubes, milk, and soda


In a bowl, cut the watermelon into 1- inch cubes

Sweeten the watermelon with sugar

Add some sprite and milk: 5 parts of sprite to 1 part of milk

Add ice cubes

Serve the watermelon hwachae in drinking cups.

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