I headed to Trader Joe's this morning to restock our pantry and was called to by the watermelons they had out front. Not sure what I would be doing with them, I put a couple in the cart and went about my shopping.
When I got home, I started looking around for watermelon recipes and came across quite a few, but one in particular stuck out. This recipe from Foodista.
Watermelon + jalapeño = fun summer beverage? I was intrigued.
The watermelon is light, and you feel the jalapeños on your lips after you've taken your first sip. The basil provides just the slightest herbiness in the background.
I made this ahead of time - omitting the club soda (for which I used lemon lime seltzer water) - and adding that as I poured each drink later to keep it fizzy. It's refreshing and light, and the come-togetherness of the lime, basil and jalapeño mask any flavor of alcohol - which also means these can be lethal on a hot summer day.
We don't typically drink gin - and we've had a bottle in the back of our liquor cabinet for years. This seemed liked the perfect time to finish it off, but I think Meyers Rum would go great in here as well - or possibly bourbon - subbing out mint for the basil for a watermelon Julep. The possibilities are endless.
These are a great substitution for the same old same old margarita for your next cookout.
1 blender full of cubed watermelon
1 lime - cut into wedges
2 jalapeños - seeded and roughly chopped
1 bunch basil (I picked 17 leaves from our plant out back)
12 oz alcohol (gin, rum, vodka, bourbon...)
Club Soda/Seltzer for fizz
Simple Syrup to taste
Fill your blender full of cubed watermelon and blend until smooth - about 30 seconds. It will make about three cups.
Strain the watermelon water through a mesh strainer (this will give you a smoother cocktail).
In a large pitcher, add your limes.
Then add basil.
Next up, the jalapeños.
Stir in your watermelon water.
Add your alcohol.
Serve over crushed ice - fill 3/4 of the way full and top off with seltzer/club soda - and add simple syrup to taste.
Garnish with a basil leaf.