When the sizzling temperatures of summer hit, I find myself craving watermelon juice. Perhaps it is because of the great memories I have of drinking this delicately refreshing drink after many a hot yoga practice or because I always find myself with an extra watermelon in my fridge, but in either case, I find this watermelon cooler a go-to drink for the summer. As I've gotten used to "juicing" watermelon, I've played around with this cooler, adding fresh lime juice to compliment the sweetness of the melon and even herbs, like basil or mint, to give the drink an extra kick. This drink is great for overripe melons; while their texture might be grainy and less-than-appetizing, their juices are still plenty sweet and delicious. This recipe also makes a great mocktail (or virgin cocktail) for those times you want a festive, hydrating drink. If you want to make a full-fledged cocktail out of it (as I've been known to do come Friday night), you can simply add a shot of vodka to your drink. Don't have limes on hand? Swap them out with lemons. It's pretty versatile!
1 medium sized watermelon, the flesh scooped out, rinds discarded (about 4 cups)
3 limes, juiced (about 2-3 tablespoons)
3 tablespoons basil simple syrup (optional)
To make basil simple syrup, simply follow the instructions in my ginger simple syrup recipe, making sure to swap out the ginger with two cups of fresh basil leaves.
Blend watermelon chunks in batches in a blender on medium speed until pureed. Then pour pureed watermelon into a pitcher, using a sieve to separate the pulp from the juice. Once all the juice is in the pitcher, stir in lime juice and taste. If you want more of a lime taste, you can juice and add more. Then, if you would like, add the basil simple syrup. Enjoy! Makes about 4 servings.
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