Watermelon Basil Mint Cooler

We have finally settled in a bit more to Knoxville, and we’ve especially been soaking in two of the amazing things this part of the US has to offer: great hiking and an abundance of amazing summer produce.

Well, I’ll add a caveat to that. This post is actually born out of a less than amazing piece of produce, amongst an otherwise incredible bounty, that I picked up at the farmer’s market the other day. I chose a small watermelon for dessert and was surprised to slice into it and find it was a yellow watermelon. It was beautiful, but unfortunately had very little taste. Still, it wasn’t mealy or anything, so I was trying to think up uses for it. It needed a bit of sweetness added, and we had some herbs on the counter, so I immediately thought of a watermelon cooler. If it weren’t in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday, and if our liquor cabinet had been stocked up, I’m sure I would’ve added some booze. Some would say vodka, but personally, I’d go for rum. But then, I’m more of a rum drinker than a vodka drinker… Anyhow, I digress.

This was a refreshing snack this afternoon. It is somewhat annoying to put the juice through a sieve, but to tell you the truth, it only took a minute or two, and we don’t have a juicer and there were lots of seeds in the watermelon, so it was necessary. Those of you with a juicer, juice away sans sieve!

Watermelon Basil Mint Cooler

  • 1 small watermelon (or 3-4 C. chunks of watermelon)
  • 2-3 tsp. powdered sugar
  • 1-2 stems basil
  • 1-2 stems mint
  • wedges of lime, optional
  • rum or vodka, optional

Place the watermelon in a blender or food processor and blend quickly, pulsing until liquefied, but not longer. Pour the juice through a sieve, pressing the fibrous bits to get any remaining juice out. Dispose of the fibrous leftovers and seeds. Strip the herb leaves off the stems. Add the extracted juice back to the blender with the sugar and the herb leaves. Blend until smooth and herbs are incorporated. Serve over ice, adding alcohol or a squeeze of lime if desired.

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