I don’t know about the rest of the country right now, but it is HOT in Tennessee. And not only is it hot, but it’s so humid that the moment you step outside you begin to feel like a sponge collecting the air-born water. No joke, I went outside to take a photo of my theater camp students playing outside and the lens of my camera fogged up and — no matter how often I wiped it off — stayed fogged up.
Needless to say, it has been miserable. But weather like this totally justifies extra ice-cream (here’s looking at you Mocha Brownie Amaretto Ice Cream) and fruit galore, right?
One of the many fruits I purchased to ward off the weather was a watermelon. Watermelon seems to be that one fruit that I always rediscover ever summer. When it’s hot outside, watermelon just seem to “hit the spot” like no other fruit. It’s at once sweet and light, refreshing not only the palate, but also the body and spirit. When I was younger, I would purposefully get watermelon just to slurp the leftover juice up afterwords.
Now that I’m older, I have a slightly more sophisticated taste, so I wanted to see if there were any recipes that called for watermelon juice. Answer: AW YES.
Does a recipe ever fall into place for you that just seems too perfect to be true — it answers every craving you have, and uses up ingredients you’ve been trying to figure out how to get rid of? Because when I found Cook Nourish Bliss’s recipe, it was like I struck jackpot.
See, a few months ago I was given a basil starter kit by a coworker of mine in this ingenious Back to the Roots jar. I say ingenious because the soil has some kind of thing on the base that retains water and helps keep the plant hydrated all day. For someone like me who forgets to water plants, and whose apartment gets limited sunshine, I had given up on growing basil after a previous disaster that resulted in some kind of fruit fly-maggot-soil infestation. Yet I held my breath and gave it a try and so far, I’ve been overwhelmed at how quickly it’s grown. In fact, I didn’t know what to do with it and just about had a heart attack when I learned that one is supposed to prune a basil plant. Who knew that chopping off half of it would result in a greater yield!? I’m sure that there’s some kind of metaphor behind that, but I had been looking for a new recipe that could make use of basil leafs (only because I didn’t feel like making this fritatta again).
Bingo. Watermelon+basil+lime (I had one on hand from the last time I made Moscow Mules) = the perfect summer drink!
- Half of a medium watermelon, cubed (roughly 6 cups)
- 1.5 cups water
- ½ lime's worth of juice (or 1 tbsp lime juice)
- ¼ cup packed basil leafs
- Blend the watermelon in a blender or food processor. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a pitcher.
- Toss the basil in the pitcher, and muddle it lightly using a wooden spoon
- Pour in the water and lime juice, stir to combine.
- Let it sit for at least a few hours before serving to let the basil steep.
This tastes good with a little bit of Malibu!
This Hawaiian Somewhere over the Rainbow by the late Israel Kamakawiwo’ole is just like this drink: a tropical warm-hearted yet refreshing take on a classic. So much love.