daily californian logo


Beat the summer heat with a Korean-styled watermelon punch — subak hwachae

article image



We're an independent student-run newspaper, and need your support to maintain our coverage.

JULY 20, 2017

Summertime is, hands down, the best time to eat watermelons. And this seems to be a consensus all around the world.

Watermelon is one of the most popular fruits in Korea during the summer, with special watermelon-themed dessert and drink menus making an appearance during this time.

“Subak hwachae” is a watermelon beverage that has been a longtime household favorite in Korea. “Subak” is Korean for watermelon, and “hwachae” is a traditional Korean punch made of flowers, fruits and natural sweeteners.

In the past, the punch was made with simply watermelon, sugar and ice. Today there are myriad variations that bring much more creativity to the bowl. This recipe is my personal favorite — but I’ll make sure to include alternative options. Adjust and create to your liking!

Ingredients for three servings:


½ a watermelon

300 mL of milk

200 mL of cold Sprite

2 spoons of condensed milk


2 Yakults

¼ honeydew

handful of berries

3 spoonfuls of canned fruits

Dash of agave

Mint leaf



  1.       Cut the watermelon into cubes and place them into a bowl. You can use precut watermelons from the grocery store as this could be easier for college students. Half of a hollowed-out watermelon shell is sometimes used as the bowl for the punch. When cutting up watermelon pieces, you can use a melon scooper or stencils for a cuter shape.
  1.       (Optional) Cut melons into edible-sized pieces and add into bowl. Add 3 spoons of canned fruits into the bowl. I will not be adding canned fruits this time but my grandmother does this and it’s delicious! Throw a few of your favorite berries into the bowl. Blueberries and strawberries are a common ingredient.
  1.       Add Sprite into the bowl. Make sure the Sprite has been refrigerated. For this step, some prefer decarbonated Sprite. For this effect, you can stir the Sprite for a few minutes. I personally like the fizzy texture of the beverage, so this is also based on personal preference.
  1.       Mix milk and condensed milk in a separate bowl. Add Yakult for an added tartness and sweeter flavor. Mix thoroughly.
  1.       Add the mix of milk and condensed milk into the bowl of watermelon and Sprite. Some prefer to use strawberry milk instead of regular milk. You can give this a try if you’re a fan of strawberries or if you’re looking for something extra sweet!
  1.       Mix thoroughly!
  1.       Add ice — and agave, if preferred — and mix thoroughly until the punch is very cold.
  1.       Serve in a bowl. Top with mint with preferred.
  1.       Enjoy!
Christine Lee is an assistant news editor. Contact Christine Lee at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @christinejlee17.

JULY 20, 2017