Cocktail: Watermelon Ginger & Basil

In last week’s edition of Tastes Like Home, I mentioned a watermelon cocktail I had at the home of friends. Today, by request, I am posting a recipe for the cocktail based on my taste memory.

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Make this drink based on your personal taste and be sure to read the notes below.



  • 10 cups chopped watermelon
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced ginger
  • Simple Syrup to taste
  • Vodka to taste
  • 8 – 10 basil leaves


(Photo by Cynthia Nelson)
(Photo by Cynthia Nelson)


  1. Blend the watermelon in 2 batches along with the ginger and pour into a large jug.
  1. Sweeten to taste.
  1. Pour vodka into the mixture, stir to mix and taste, adjust by adding more syrup or vodka to suit your taste.
  1. Tear the basil leaves and mix them into the drink. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. The longer the drink sits, the better it tastes.
  2. Serve cold or pour over ice.



  • Pass the blended watermelon and ginger through a sieve for a smooth drink, and to remove any minced watermelon seeds that might have been missed in the process of cutting.
  • Tearing the basil leaves quickly releases the flavour of the herb but if you prefer a more subtle flavour, leave the leaves whole or go half and half – torn and whole.
  • Instead of ice cubes made of water, blend extra watermelon (only), freeze the juice in ice trays and serve with the cocktail.
  • To make simple syrup, add equal amounts (volume) sugar and water in a saucepan, place over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil for 1 minute then remove from heat and let cool completely. Use either brown or white sugar. I tend to use white sugar for syrups where I want the drink to retain the natural colour of the fruit.
  • This drink can be made a day ahead.

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