Monday, August 26, 2013

Watermelon-Basil Lemonade

This is the most refreshing drink I've ever made. It came from an experiment in the garden with growing watermelons. The experiment wasn't super successful because my watermelons had an absolutely ungodly amount of seeds. I'm not talking about a few, super fun-to-spit seeds here. I'm talking about a 50-50 seed to watermelon ratio, rending those suckers really difficult to eat. Hmmm...watermelons don't really lend themselves to much other than refreshing cocktails, so there I was. I happened to have a bag of lemons on hand as well and my basil is really thriving this year so I decided to put them all together...with vodka. A delicious, refreshing cocktail was born. It was especially perfect with Fried Green Tomatoes as a little appetizer before dinner. I wanted to treat my husband to something really refreshing and nice for dinner because he'd spent all day in our front yard making it look extra beautiful. When you are really hot and tired from a long day of digging and planting, this is a great way to cool down and relax.
Watermelon-Basil Lemonade
9 lemons
1 small watermelon
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
20 basil leaves
seltzer water

1.  Mix sugar and water in a mug and microwave for 3 minutes.  Then set in the fridge to cool down.
2.  Juice the lemons.
3.  "Juice" the watermelon.  There are two ways.  If you have seeds, cut the watermelon in cubes, place the cubes in a bowl and smash it up (I used a potato masher). Then run through a strainer to catch the chunks and seeds. If it is seedless, you can just cut the melon into cubes and blend in a blender until smooth.
4. Combine lemon juice, watermelon juice, and sugar water in a pitcher.
5. Finely chop up the basil.
6. Add basil to the pitcher and refidgerate until cocktail hour.
7. When you are ready to make the drinks, pour one shot vodka and 1/2 cup watermelon-basil lemonade into a cocktail shaker with lots of ice (We got this really fun mason jar shaker from Mark's brother Greg.  We LOVE it because it is giant and can fits enough to make at least 4 cocktails!).
8. Shake up and pour into a waiting glass of ice. Top with 1/4 cup seltzer and a sprig of basil.
Here's a pic of our newly beautified front yard!

One Year Ago: Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps
Two Years Ago: Cucumber-Thyme Hendricks Martini
Three Years Ago: Chipotle Lime Chicken

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