“A watermelon is my favorite thing to juice. Mostly, because it’s all juice,” my friend Tara (of Toutes Directions) said smiling one day in May.
A watermelon seemed like the strangest fruit to juice when first introduced to the idea–what on earth would watermelon juice taste like? Would it be as sweet as the fruity triangles I eat at picnics? Or, would it be all watery like a bad smoothie? I just wasn’t sure. Clearly, I hadn’t tried it yet.
How can I describe watermelon juice with complete truthfulness?
It is perfection. Pure perfection. Pure happiness. Pure sunshine in a glass.
I’ve fallen in love with the sweet and fruity red stuff and can’t make enough of it.
Pictured: Watermelon Juice dressed in basil. A perfect summer beverage before or after a run.
Since coming to my senses, I am ashamed to admit the number of watermelons I’ve juiced since the beginning of May, but I can tell you, it’s in the double digits. I keep whole pitchers of watermelon juice in my fridge, drinking up cold glasses after a long run at the LSU lakes or as a quick breakfast before I run out the door in the mornings.
Move over lemonade, watermelon juice–fresh from the produce department and squeezed into a glass–is here to stay. Try with this easy basil infusion or other alternatives like mint or lavender. Summer has never tasted so good!
Watermelon Juice with Basil
This recipe is my own version of watermelon juice with basil–a relatively easy drink to make if you own a juicer. However, I must tip my hat to my dear friend Michael Agan for showing me how a person without a juicer might attempt this recipe. Get out your strainers and plates people!
Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
* 1 watermelon (large, about 10-15 pounds) removed from rind and cut into 1-inch cubes
* 1/2 to 1 cup basil, washed with small leaves reserved for garnish
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
WITH A JUICER:
1.) Remove fruit from the rhine and juice watermelon into a large pitcher with the help of a standard juicer. Add basil leaves to juicer and process into same pitcher. Add salt and rice wine vinegar, mix to combine. Chill and serve with basil leaves to garnish.
1.) If you don’t have a juicer, take an oversized bowl and place a strainer inside the bowl. Put fruit in strainer and using a plate, press down onto the watermelon until it reaches its “juicy submission” (i.e., all of the watermelon’s juice will be pressed into the bowl and just the red pulp will remain in the strainer). Discard pulp and continue.
2.) Add the basil: this step is a little trickier as you’ll have to process the basil somehow. I suggest a food processor or a blender just to get the basil into a paste, but you’ll want to go light on the basil since you’re using both the leaves of the basil as well as its juice. Process and add to bowl with salt and vinegar. Mix to combine and serve chilled with basil leaves to garnish.
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Written by: Helana Brigman