Cooling Watermelon Drink from Mombasa

I will never forget the time we arrived in Diani Beach, Mombasa (Kenya), 2006. It was spring and the sun was absolutely baking. We were sweating like watering cans and were very thirsty after a long trip from Iceland via London. We arrived at the hotel and the service people immediately brought cool, wet clothes (with eucalyptus) to wash our faces and ice cold watermelon drinks. I could have drunk litres of that wonderful juice and immediately asked for the recipe of course. It was watermelon and pineapple, nothing else. We are always careful of consuming fruits when travelling in Africa but since I had been to Kenya several times before, knew the hotel and knew that they sourced their fruits from reputable farmers, I knew they were perfectly fine. It is very important that you never buy fruit that might be filled with additional water (which makes them heavier) such as oranges or watermelons, by the road side. They might be filled with less than clean water. Always buy them from trustworthy sources such as a Nakumatt (grocery store) or from a vendor you trust.

This is one of my absolute favourite drinks and I particularly enjoy drinking it when I am very thirsty or very hot (which I have to admit doesn't happen that often in Iceland).

You will need a blender or a food processor to make this drink.

I absolutely love the cooling effect of this drink

This recipe is:

  • Egg free
  • Gluten free
  • Lactose (dairy) free
  • Nut free
  • Vegan

Cooling Watermelon Drink from Mombasa

Serves 2-3 people


  • 100 millilitres (3½ fluid oz) pineapple juice
  • Quarter of a large seedless watermelon.
  • A couple of ice cubes


  1. Place the ice cubes in a blender or food processor.
  2. Pour 50 millilitres (1½ fluid oz) of the pineapple juice on top of the ice cubes.
  3. Slice the watermelon horizontally into wedges. Remove the rind by inserting a knife between the rind and the flesh to cut it away. Cut a quarter of the watermelon into chunks. Remove any seeds (if the watermelon contains seeds you can press it through a sieve).
  4. Transfer the watermelon chunks to the blender along with the remaining 50 millilitres pineapple juice. Blend for 10 seconds.
  5. Serve immediately.
  6. Add more ice cubes if preferred.


  • You can juice a fresh pineapple instead of using pineapple juice if you prefer.
  • I usually opt for seedless watermelons for this recipe (so that the juice doesn't taste of watermelon seeds). However it is good to keep in mind that the seeded variety contains more nutrients.
  • Some people prefer a couple of sprigs of fresh mint in this drink, it has a wonderful cooling effect.
  • To select a ripe watermelon look for one that is heavy for its size with a rind that is relatively smooth and that is neither overly shiny nor overly dull. When you knock on its side, you should feel a solid resonance. Additionally when you turn it over you should look for a creamy yellow spot where it ripened in the sun.