Last month I shared a recipe for some basil simple syrup on my Instagram and now I’m sharing the perfect cocktail for you to use it in! Freshly juiced watermelon, citrusy lime, and the fragrant and sweet flavors of basil blend together in one delicious thirst quenching summer drink. And for my non-drinkers or soon-to-be-moms.. I’ve got you covered with tips on how to make a booze-free version as well!
(makes 2 drinks)
8-10 basil leaves, muddled
Juice from 1 lime
1 1/2 cups of watermelon chunks, juiced*
3 Tbs basil simple syrup – Recipe below
*If you don’t have a juicer you can also puree the watermelon chunks in a food processor or blender. Strain through a cheese cloth or fine mesh sieve to remove pulp.
**For a non-alcoholic version just use club soda, sparkling water, or Sprite instead of the vodka!
Basil Simple Syrup:
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
10 – 12 fresh basil leaves, torn
Combine water, sugar, and basil leaves in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and allow syrup to cool, leaving the basil leaves in to steep. When cooled, remove and discard basil leaves and pour into a sealing jar. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Now for our cocktail!
In a large cocktail shaker, add basil leaves and lime juice. Muddle the basil leaves until the leaves are torn and “bruised.” This will help release more of their flavor. Add watermelon juice, vodka (if you’re using a non-alcoholic alternative do not add it yet), and basil simple syrup. Shake for 30 seconds and then strain into two ice filled glasses. Garnish with fresh basil leaves or flowers and serve right away. If you’re using club soda or sparkling water instead of vodka, you’ll mix the ingredients, strain into the glasses and then top them off with the soda or sparkling water so you don’t lose the carbonation or wind up with a fizzy mess!