Summer in New York is filled with picnics, trips to the beach, weekends upstate, and afternoons spent lounging around the house while avoiding 90 degree heat and 60% humidity. Each of these occasions calls for something cool and refreshing in hand, a signature summer drink that is quick, easy, versatile, and pleasing to anyone and everyone.
This summer, I'm looking to highlight seasonal flavors while maximizing that cool, frosty-glass factor. To me, nothing says refreshment like a juicy watermelon! And what is summer without the pungent scent of basil? The two flavors combined with a sour kick of lime create the perfect drink for cooling off on these hot summer days.
I've enjoyed this drink in the afternoon, with a few ice cubes thrown in for good measure. Friends and I have also delighted in adding a salty rim and a shot of tequila for the perfect poolside cocktail. The beauty of this watermelon-basil limeade is that it can really be mixed with anything - try it with gin or as a replacement for orange juice in your mimosa, or you can even water it down for a more subtle fresca effect. Blend and drink immediately, or bottle ahead of time and bring this along to whatever gathering you've got going on this weekend.
Takes about 10 minutes.
You'll need: a blender. I use the Vitamix Professional Series 500.
Ingredients for approximately 8 servings:
- 2 cups watermelon, cubed (you can do this ahead of time and freeze the cubes, or just use them fresh)
- 1 cup ice cubes
- 1/2 cup packed basil
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/8 - 1/4 cup water (if you are using frozen watermelon, you'll need more to lubricate your blender)
- Add all to blender, blitz on high! Serve cold.
- For margaritas, rub a lime wedge around the rim of your glass, then coat in salt. Shake watermelon-basil limeade with tequila in a cocktail shaker, serve over ice. Garnish with fresh basil & watermelon.
Cheers to a summer full of sunshine, flavor, and good company!