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 along with Korean strawberry milk. 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)!
Additional fruits to add Korean watermelon punch
- 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.
Hello!! I tried this drink today actually saw this drink BTS in soop while ago but did today but I don’t know if I did it correctly so I just used milk, sprit n watermelon offcourse so it doesn’t have any side effects? Right just wanted to know but it tastes really good
As long as you kept the punch cold, it should be fine. Did you add any sweet condensed milk or honey? A little sweeten-up makes the drink tastier. Glad to hear that you like it. Thanks!
Just added sugar that’s it nothing else so it’s safe nah ?? Like there are no mix chemical reactions? I can send u pic bt I don’t know how ?
Gonna try to make a vegan version with oat milk and sweetened condensed coconut milk 🙂 thanks for the recipe!
I made this for dessert to share with my neighbors on a hot August evening. It was such a hit! Everyone couldn’t help exclaiming at how refreshing it was. Instead of blueberries I added canned pear, including the juice from the can. It was delicious!
So happy to hear you and your neighbors love this punch. I like the idea of adding canned pear with its juice. Thanks for sharing!
Made this for my daughter’s birthday last night and it was a hit! Everyone loved it! And yes, so refreshing! Looking forward to making it again this spring! Not as sweet as so many drinks are and loved the subtle flavors the watermelon and cantaloupe added.
So great to hear from you. Glad to hear that this punch was a success at the party. Adding a cantaloupe is a good idea. Hope everyone is doing well.
Hi Holly – what type of milk do you use? Fresh, powdered or long-life?
I used fresh milk. Either whole milk or reduced fat milk work. I wouldn’t use powdered milk. When you pour the carbonated drink, it will foam up but the foam will subside as it goes.
I’ve never heard of Korean punch (nor paired soda with milk), but this sounds intriguing and delightful and definitely so refreshing!
This is such an interesting drink! I’ve never paired milk with soda, but it looks like I’ll have to try it out soon!
What an interesting dish! I don’t think I’ve ever had anything quite like this. Gotta try it — sounds so good! Thanks!