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Watermelon Basil Lemonade

Serves Makes about six (10-ounce) glasses over ice.     adjust servings


  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (juice from 4 lemons), rinds reserved
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 3 cups watermelon
  • fresh basil leaves, to garnish
  • watermelon wedges, to garnish


  1. In a 4-quart bowl or heat-proof pitcher, use the back of a wooden spoon to bruise 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves. Beat em up pretty good if you really like basil. Add the fresh lemon juice and the sugar and stir well. Pour the boiling water over juice mixture, and stir to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Put the 3 cups of watermelon in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Pour the puree into the lemon mixture, then add in the reserved lemon rinds.
  3. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours. Remove and discard rinds. Strain through a colander (or a mesh sieve if you want it really smooth) into a pitcher. Add watermelon wedges and fresh basil leaves. Stir before serving.