I hope everyone is having a lovely long weekend and doing something fun to celebrate Labor Day! The official story is that I made this basil watermelon lemonade in honor of Labor Day, but really, it’s my attempt to hold on to summer as long as possible and distract myself from the fact that in 24 hours, I will be standing in front of a room full of students who will inevitably expect me to be all teacher-ly and composed and such, when in reality I feel anything but, since I still haven’t figured out how I’m going to manage teaching four days a week on top of my own full course load.
Anyhow. It’s not too late to enjoy a frosty glass of basil watermelon lemonade (watermelonade?), especially since weather-wise, it’s still summer until mid-September, so go ahead and indulge – this drink is fruity, refreshing, and tangy, with just a hint of aromatic basil! That’s all I’m going to write for now, because I want to go and savor the last few hours before the madness the school year begins!
- 8 cups frozen cubed seedless watermelon
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup basil leaves, chopped (plus more leaves for garnish, if desired)
- 1/2 cup lemon juice (about 3-4 lemons)
- For the basil simple syrup: in a small saucepan, heat sugar and water over medium-low until the sugar granules have all dissolved. Remove the pan from the stove and add the chopped basil leaves. Let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Strain the liquid and discard the basil.
- In a blender, combine watermelon, lemon juice, and basil simple syrup. Puree until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve, and top individual cups with basil leaves for garnish if desired.
- I cut the cubes into thin slices before adding them to the blender to make sure there weren’t any seeds. Alternatively, you can strain the mixture after blending it, but you will also separate out some of the watermelon pulp, which I personally like to incorporate. Although I didn’t have time to do it for this rendition, I also recommend freezing the watermelon cubes for an hour or two before putting them in the blender.