This is a flavorful, pretty, and unique cocktail. I went light on the alcohol, here, so there was just a hint of lime and gin. The real star of this drink is the delicious watermelon juice, which is sweet and unbelievably refreshing. The juice, on it’s own, is a delicious treat. However, by highlighting the juice with the fresh, herbaceous flavor of the basil, it really brought this cocktail to another level. This cocktail is basically the essence of summer distilled down into a glass.
The watermelon juice described below is also an excellent way to use up an abundance of watermelon. Having received one the past three weeks running with our CSA, I was beginning to get a little weary of slices of watermelon as a snack and wanted to try something new. Though removing the seeds from the watermelon can be a bit time consuming and tedious, creating watermelon juice (which can be drank straight as-is, as a component of this cocktail, or in any other fashion you can conceive of) is well worth it.
Basil and Watermelon Cocktail
Yield: About 8-10 cups
1 1/2 small watermelons, seeds removed, cut into 1″ cubes (about 10-12 cups)
Working in batches, puree the watermelon in a food processor.
Strain through a fine mesh strainer.
Refrigerate 2-3 hours until very cold. Enjoy as is or continue to make the cocktail.
Basil and Watermelon Cocktail:
1/4 cup basil leaves, loosely packed
1 shot lime-flavored gin, or to taste (I used Seagram’s that I obtained from my awesome aunt and uncle who just moved to Arizona and left me their liquor collection)
1 cup watermelon juice (see above)
Place basil leaves at the bottom of a cocktail glass. Using a muddler or back end of a wooden spoon, muddle the basil. Place ice in the glass. Top with gin and watermelon juice and stir to combine. Garnish with a basil leaf.