Watermelon Basil Lemonade

by Michelle on July 17, 2013

Several years ago, I was working on a summer entertaining story for InStyle and I interviewed an event planner who gave me a fabulous recipe for strawberry basil lemonade. It not only made it into the story, but I’ve served it at countless parties since then, always to rave reviews. The original version contains vodka—which is definitely a crowd pleaser—but I’ve also served it sans alcohol at daytime events when I know my guests aren’t bound to be boozing. Either way it’s refreshing and delicious and has been on my mind lately, as I’ve been thinking about the menu for Charlie’s 2nd birthday party. I’d like to serve the punch, but strawberries will be out of season come mid-August, so I started thinking of substitute fruits. Watermelon came to mind because it’s an excellent complement to the minty flavor of basil. I made up a batch this afternoon (without vodka, although I will be adding some come cocktail time) and it’s a keeper! The watermelon chunks soak up the lemony flavor delightfully and the basil adds a nice depth to it all. I will probably leave the alcohol out of the version I serve at C’s party, though I will have vodka and a shot glass at the ready with a note for our guests to spike their punch at their pleasure. If you are doing any summer entertaining, this is the drink to serve!

Watermelon Basil Lemonade

1 12 ounce can of frozen lemonade

2 liters of sparkling water

1 750 ml bottle of vodka (optional)

4-5 cups of watermelon, cut into chunks

A bunch of basil

Combine all ingredients in a punch bowl or pitcher and serve chilled or over ice.

This post is a part of Food Network’s Summer Fest, a collection of recipes using the summer’s best bounty. For more ideas on how to cook with watermelon, check out the blogs below:

Dishing: Watermelon Agua Fresca

The Sensitive Epicure: Watermelon with Feta, Mint, Olive Oil and Sea Salt

Napa Farmhouse 1885: Watermelon Popsicles with Mint, Basil and Lime

Red or Green: Spicy Watermelon Salad with Grilled Mahi Mahi

Weelicious: Watermelon Cinnamon Granita

Taste With The Eyes: Watermelon Carpaccio, Blistered Shishito, Mitsuba and Lime

Dishin & Dishes: Summer Mixed Melon Nachos with Mascarpone Cream

Domesticate Me: Sparkling Watermelon Punch & Bowl

Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Sweet and Salty Greek Watermelon Feta Mint Salad

Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Watermelon Vodka Rickey

Devour: Savory Watermelon Recipes

FN Dish: Cool Watermelon Drinks

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Divya Shivaraman July 17, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Super refreshing


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