For me, sipping a Watermelon Basil Gimlet is the epitome of summer. The Gimlet has a long, seaworthy past. Leave it to the Brits to come up with another winning lime and gin combo. During the 19th century, The Royal British Navy started mixing the newly invented Rose’s Lime Cordial with gin to help fight scurvy. Today I mix Gimlets to beat the summer heat.
I found this cocktail a few summers ago in Martha Stewart Living, and since then have adapted it to be my all time favorite and go to summer cocktail. I literally countdown the days until it’s watermelon and basil season for this exact purpose.
- seedless watermelon
- 4 basil leaves
- juice of half a lime
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 shot gin
- tonic (my favorite is Fever Tree Mediterranean)
The best part about this cocktail are the watermelon ice cubes. Cut the watermelon into about 1 inch cubes and freeze. After about an hour in the freezer they are ready to serve. I usually cut one whole watermelon and freeze a ton of cubes at once so I have them on hand whenever I want (read: need) a cocktail.
Mix together lime juice and sugar in the bottom of a glass. Gently rip up the basil leaves and toss them in, too. Muddle all three ingredients together. Stir in gin. Toss in a few watermelon cubes and top with tonic. Give it another light stir to combine all elements.