I have two favorite summertime drinks: Watermelon agua fresca and flavored lemonades. This is a bit of a cross between the two. Fresh Watermelon juice is combined with fresh squeezed lemons, and basil steeped in a simple syrup. I am trying to get away from using processed sugar so I thought this would be a good opportunity to try using something a little more natural. I made the sugar syrup with
Stevia instead of white sugar. I use Stevia in the raw which can be measured cup for cup just like sugar. If you use a pure Stevia you will most likely only need a quarter the amount of Stevia as you would using normal white sugar since the sweetness is so much more concentrated.
*This recipe makes a lot! Consider halving if you don’t need a large amount.
Watermelon Basil Lemonade
1/2 large watermelon (or 1 small)
12 large lemons
2 cups Stevia in the raw
12-15 Basil Leaves
1 gallon+ Water
Combine 3 cups of the water and the stevia in a medium saucepan. Bring just to a boil and remove from the heat. Add the basil leaves to the simple syrup and submerge. Set aside to steep for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, sliced the rind off of the watermelon and cut it into large chunks.
Working in batches, purée the watermelon in a blender, adding 1-2 cups of water to each batch. Strain the juice through a large seive into a large pitcher or drink dispenser. Discard solids.
Juice the lemons and add the juice to the watermelon juice. Add in the cooled syrup to the juice along with the remaining water(I leave the basil leaves in for more flavor!)
Taste and add more water as needed.
Chill and serve over ice.