Korean Watermelon Punch (Subak Hwachae)
Korean watermelon punch is a refreshing Korean fruit punch and a popular dessert drink during the summer season. You can use watermelon alone or mix with other summer fruits. It is quick to make with just 4 ingredients.
One of the fond memories of my childhood summers has to be with this Korean watermelon punch. My mother often made this punch and served it to us when my sisters and I walked a full mile home from school in the hot and humid Korean summer weather.
“Take a shower first if you want a bowl of cold watermelon punch!” My mother always requested a quick shower if we were too sweaty. And this refreshing and light punch was our reward.
Oh, how good it was! Life as a little Korean child was a blessing and a privilege with this watermelon punch. I remember that I always had a second bowl.
My mother’s watermelon punch was simply made with a lemon-lime carbonated drink and sweetened with honey. I love this kind of simple Korean drink recipe. Occasionally she added some melon along with watermelon.
No matter what you add in the punch, as long as there’s watermelon included, it will all turn out just as good. And taking a shower prior to serving is optional (but usually a good idea)!
Fruits you can add:
- watermelon: should always be included because it IS a watermelon punch
- honeydew melon or cantaloupe
- or any canned fruits: such as fruit cocktail, lychee, rambutan, etc
Ingredients for Korean Watermelon Punch
- seedless watermelon: either balled or cubed
- lemon-lime soda: Make sure it is well chilled
- sweet condensed milk, honey, or sugar
- ice cubes: optional. It will keep the punch cold
How to make Subak Hwachae
- Mix milk and sweet condensed milk. You can use honey or sugar instead (Adjust the amount according to your preference).
- Add the soda and mix well.
- Combine with the watermelon (and other fruits if using) in a large mixing bowl.
Want to make your watermelon punch fancier?
Garnish with lemon slices, blueberries and/or fresh herbs, such as fresh mint or basil. You an also drop a few ice cubes to keep the punch cold, but keep in mind that ice will dilute the punch as it melts. (Although some people don’t mind, and even prefer it that way.)
How to serve and store Korean Watermelon Punch
Unlike western punch, Korean fruit punch is typically served in a glass bowl with a spoon. It is often served as a dessert after meals.
I recommend serving this punch as soon as it is made to enjoy the carbonation. Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
More Korean Drinks
If you are looking for a refreshing drink recipes, here are a few Korean punch recipes that you might like.
Korean Watermelon Punch
- 1/4 seedless watermelon, balled or cubed
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 2 1/2 cup lemon-lime flavored soda, chilled
- 2-4 tbsp sweet condensed milk, honey or sugar
- blueberries to garnish, optional
- Place watermelon pieces (and its juice) in a large serving bowl.
- Mix milk and condensed milk in another bowl and add soda; stir. Pour the punch mixture over watermelon. Garnish with blueberries if using.
- To serve, ladle watermelon punch into a small individual serving bowl. Serve immediately or chill up to 2 hours.
- Leftover punch can be stored in the refrigerator up to 24 hours.