1 6 lb seedless watermelon
1 cup cold water
1/4 cup basil simple syrup*
juice of 1/4 lime
Scoop out the watermelon, using an ice cream scooper, directly into a food processor**. Add the basil syrup. Pulse until smooth. Strain through a wide wire mesh sieve into a pitcher. Stir in the lime juice and water.
Optional: freeze cubes of watermelon to use as “ice cubes” in the drink.
*Follow these instructions for simple syrup, adding one handful of roughly chopped fresh basil to the water and sugar before boiling and strain the leaves out at the end.
**A blender won’t work. A food mill would be a better substitution and you won’t have to strain it out after processing. Or just mash the fruit if you want it to be thicker.
Literally “fresh water” agua fresca is water based drink infused with fruit. Watermelon is a is my fruit to use because it is mostly water-if you use other fruits, the amount of water you need to use increases. Since I don’t have to add a lot of extra water, the flavor is undiluted. I love basil and watermelon together so I thought instead of just adding simple syrup, I made a fresh batch and infused it with basil. It gave a herbal note to the drink that really cut the sweetness and made it extra refreshing. Perfect for a not-quite Autumn afternoon.