It’s official! I’m having a love affair with watermelon. If you would have caught me a year ago I wouldn’t have even touched the rounded green orb. In fact, I’ve had a life-long aversion to the watemelon. I can’t even tell you why. Now, it seems I can’t get enough of that pink and sometimes yellow sweet flesh. I’m smitten!
So, here’s the recipe I submitted for the http://www.oxo.com Kitchen Challenge at the http://www.eatwriteretreat.com conference in Washington, DC. And it even got a honorable mention by none other than Bonnie Benwick, interim Food Editor of http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food My fabulous cooking team included Kathy Blake (http://www.theexperimentalgourmand.com) Betty Ann Quirino (http://www.queensnotebook.com) and Jennifer Levac (http://www.marvelousmommymeals.com) Whew! That’s quite a list. Anywho, here is the fabulous recipe and a picture of the mocktail. With my compliments - ENJOY!!!
2C watermelon juice
3Tbls basil simple syrup (or to taste)
Juice of 1 medium lime
1/2-1C of sparkling water
2 stems basil (for garnish)
Combine watermelon juice, basil simple syrup, lime juice and sparkling water in a small pitcher. Stir to incorporate. Chill. Pour into 4 4-ounce cocktail glasses. Garnish. Serve.
6C personal watermelon, rough chop (yields 2 cups of juice)
Place watermelon in a blender. Puree watermelon until liquid. Pour watermelon juice through a medium sieve. Pour first run sieved watermelon juice through a smaller mesh sieve. Skim foam off top of watermelon juice. Chill. Can be kept for up to 3-days refrigerated, 1 month frozen.
Basil Simple Syrup
1C simple syrup
1-2C fresh basil leaves
Combine sugar, water and basil leaves in a saucepan. Cook over medium high heat until sugar is dissolved. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Take off heat and let steep for 15 minutes or until cooled. Separate basil and syrup. Discard basil. Place into a container and refrigerate. Can be kept for up to 1 month.
Yields 4 4-ounce servings.
p.s. Don’t forget if you want to go from mock-tail to cocktail just add your favorite spirit like vodka or gin.
*you can always add more simple syrup, lime juice and/or sparkling water to your taste.
*you can use most any herb or spice to make an infusion with the simple syrup - just use the basic recipe above. also, remember use 1/2 the amount when using dried herbs or spices.
*don’t skip the sieving part of the watermelon juice because the pulp will always separate from the actual juice - you always want the pure juice.
*alternatively from the recipe above you can always puree your watermelon & leave the juice in the refrigerator overnight. the pulp will separate from the juice. the next day you’ll just need to scoop off all the pulp.