Wait, it’s September, which means summer is coming to an end? Even though the summer might be coming to a close, it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a great summer cocktail. During the summer I generally have two things around, some watermelon in my frig and some fresh basil that I’m growing on my balcony or somewhere in my apartment. My favorite drink is a Gin Basil Smash, which I was introduced to while I lived in Germany. The Gin Basil smash has of course basil and gin, which when done right, creates a delicious cocktail, where you won’t even know that you are drinking gin. It’s seriously a great introduction to the gin hater. I know, I didn’t like gin years ago after one of those bad gin experiences.
Now how do you turn a signature drink into something more refreshing? Add some amazing watermelon to it. When I decided to make this cocktail, I also decided to add a special touch. To really kick it up a bit and if you are interested in adding it or can find it, add some lychee liqueur. It provides a nice touch and builds onto the flavor of the watermelon quite well. If you want to add it, go ahead, if you don’t, you still will have a great drink. I mean you can’t go wrong with watermelon and basil.
The good thing about a drink like this is even though summer is coming to an end, you can find watermelon for a little while longer, depending on where you are in the world. In America, watermelon is seriously around all the time. For a drink like this, it would be preferable to have a good ripe in season watermelon, but if that’s not in the cards for you, the other ingredients in this drink will definitely make for a great tasty drink.
I hope you enjoy making this, it definitely a very straightforward drink that will get you in a relaxed mood. Cheers!
Gin Watermelon Basil Smash
- 2 dashes Orange Bitters, optional
- 6 Basil Leaves
- 3/4 ounce Lemon Juice
- 3/4 ounce Simple Syrup
- 2 ounces Watermelon Puree, see note below
- 2 ounces Gin
- 1/4 ounce Kwai Feh Lychee Liqueur, optional
- Watermelon wedge and/or Sprig of Basil, optional
In a rocks glass add ice and set aside. In a cocktail shaker, add the first 4 ingredients and muddle until fragrant. Add gin and watermelon puree. Fill shaker with ice and put the cap on. Shake vigorously for about 30 seconds, or until the shaker is extremely cold.
Strain cocktail into your prepared rocks glass, pour lychee liqueur on top, if using, and garnish with watermelon wedge, and/or basil if using. Serve immediately.
Note: For watermelon puree, take about 1/2 cup or more of fresh watermelon and blend until smooth. Strain out pulp and use the remaining puree for a cocktail. Any remaining puree can be used for another drink.