This recipe is almost too easy! The gin does something magical to the flavour of the watermelon, and may be saved for later use in a fruit punch. And the pretty colour just says Christmas. Serve as refreshing first course or a lovely light dessert.




Skill level

Average: 5 (1 vote)


  • 1 small watermelon (see note)
  • 250 ml (1 cup) gin 
  • mint leaves, to decorate

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time 3 hours

Cut the watermelon in half, remove the seeds, and scoop out balls of the firm flesh with a melon-baller. If you don’t have a melon-baller, cut the flesh into bite-sized cubes.

Pour the gin over the watermelon balls in a bowl, mix lightly, cover with plastic wrap and leave to marinate for several hours in the refrigerator.

At serving time, drain the watermelon well, arrange the balls in chilled glasses, and decorate with fresh mint leaves.


• Look for seedless melons to make this dish easier to prepare. To take this treat on a picnic, keep the melon balls in a plastic container stored on ice in an esky. This is a welcome dish on a hot summery day. Make a separate container of watermelon with mint for children.


Recipe from Margaret Fulton Christmas by Margaret Fulton, with photographs by Mark Roper. Published by Hardie Grant Books.