Watermelon-Basil Slushy

Watermelon is probably one of my favorite summer flavors; it's so versatile that it can pair well with sweet or savory flavors.  One of the more unique pairings is watermelon and basil.  These two flavors come together to get a refreshingly subtle twist on the classic watermelon beverage.  Add your favorite tequila, and you've got a great summer cocktail...great for your next cookout!

Yields about 4 drinks.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 handfuls fresh basil (about 20-30 leaves)
  • 1 pound frozen seedless watermelon
  • Juice from 1-2 limes, depending on your preferred tastes
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup tequila, depending on your desired strength (you can also omit this ingredient for a virgin slushy)
  • 12 oz. lemon-lime soda

Instructions:

1. Make basil simple syrup: In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine water, granulated and basil leaves.  Let simmer for 5-7 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved and the basil leaves have begun to wilt.  Remove basil leaves and set syrup aside to cool.

2. In a blender, combine remaining ingredients plus your desired about to basil simple syrup.  I suggest about 3/4 cup, but you can add more if you want it sweeter and less if you don't.  Blend until a thick slushy has formed.  If the slushy is too thick, add more soda or lime juice.

3. Pour into a mason jar, garnish with a lime wedge and basil leaf, and enjoy!