I don’t like to deviate much from my usual drink order (vodka soda or ginger ale with a lemon wedge) but I think this watermelon basil cocktail is the perfect summer drink. It’s refreshing, not sugary, and I cannot get enough of that basil. For realz. I am obsessed. I once overdid the basil so much for lunch at work, I had cramps afterwards… Delicious cramps.
If you don’t like basil, I’m not recommending another herb because you crazy. Cilantro, I love as well and don’t get when people hate it, but a lot do, so fine, but to dislike basil is like saying you don’t like fresh air. How do you live?!
Anyway, I’m going down an insane tangent. What I’m trying to say is that this watermelon basil cocktail is a great summertime drink, whether you have one or five. The watermelon keeps you hydrated and it doesn’t have that gross sugary syrup taste that a lot of those fancy cocktails have which you regret drinking the next morning when you have the headache from hell or are refunding it back into the toilet (if you make it in time).
Don’t like vodka? That’s fine too! Put in whatever liquor you like into it or none at all! It is so good, you’d be nuts not to try it. It’s also pretty simple to prepare: some pouring, some smashing, some stirring, and then some sipping.
Watermelon Basil Cocktail
4 cups of chopped watermelon
2 cups club soda
4 shots vodka
¼ cup water
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 Tbs sugar
4-8 basil leaves
This recipe makes four watermelon basil cocktails so you can either make them in each glass or one pitcher. If you’re making it per glass, put 1 cup of the watermelon in the glass and muddle it aka smush it to get all the juices out. For a pitcher, you’ll put all 4 cups in at once and muddle.
Once you’ve muddled the life out of the watermelon, add in the vodka (1 shot per glass is the norm, but you can do more or less). Add in 1-2 Tbs of simple syrup per glass. To make simple syrup, simply heat the water and melt the sugar in it. Let it cool and add to the drink.
Squeeze in fresh lime juice. Do not use that lime concentrate. Why? Because it’s a lime crime! If you’re asking that then why bother making this drink when you can go buy a bottle of Vex for $4.95 and call it a day?! I rest my case.
Lay out the basil leaves on a cutting board and with the back of a knife, hit the leaves. This will bruise the leaves to help release their flavour into the drink. Put them into the drink and stir all the ingredients together. Add in some ice cubes and top up with club soda. Don’t have club soda (or don’t like it)? You can top it up with mineral water, sprite, or champagne if you’re fancy. And there is the watermelon basil cocktail a la Polish Ola!
For garnish, you can slice a smaller watermelon slice ⅔ of the way into the flesh and hang it on the rim like I did or just add in a nice sprig of basil.