Basil-Mint Watermelon Lemonade (Inspired by Beach Fossils)

Watermelon lemonade with lime, mint and basil (recipe here)

When it’s as hot as it is in New York this week (in the 80s and 90s, aka I AM MELTING IN MY APARTMENT AS I WRITE THIS), the only thing I can think about is watermelon. And now, I can assure you, the only thing I will ever think about during times like this is this drink. It’s inspired by the Brooklyn band Beach Fossils, whose music is equally fit for this weather; they’ve recently become my start-of-summer soundtrack. Their music is breezy and drenched in reverb, and while the songs have plenty of pep and energy, they never seem to be in too much of a hurry, which is exactly how I like to be in the summer. In their song “Lazy Day,” from last year’s self-titled debut, frontman Dustin Payseur sings, “Lazy today, lazy tonight and later on/ All we had to do was nothing at all, under the sun.” Sounds about right to me. Their recent record, What A Pleasure, isn’t as explicitly about the laziness of summer, but still has the same feeling. What a pleasure, indeed.
Beach Fossils on MySpace

Adapted from Isa Chandra Moskowitz in the June/July issue of BUST Magazine


8 lemons (including one for garnish)
3 limes
1 cup sugar
4 cups water, divided
4 cups cubed seedless watermelon, frozen for at least two hours (It’s fine if it still has the white seeds. [Edit: I froze the watermelon to give it a slushy consistency, but you don’t have to freeze it.])
About 5 large basil leaves, roughly chopped (can add more)
About 5-10 mint leaves, roughly chopped (can add more)

To give it an extra kick: Adding booze is, obviously, always an option. Some kind of fizz wouldn’t be so bad, either.


• Make a simple syrup by combining 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar over medium heat, until the sugar is dissolved. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.

• Juice the lemons and limes (together there should be about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups of liquid), either over a strainer, or into a bowl or measuring cup and then pour through a strainer to catch seed. (You don’t need a juicer for this — I did it all by hand.) Add to your pitcher. Then add three cups of water.

• Add the simple syrup and ice.

• In a food processor, pulse the watermelon with the basil and mint (I did it in two batches) until it has a slushy consistency and most of the large chunks are gone. Add to the pitcher.

• Garnish with lemon or lime slices.


9 thoughts on “Basil-Mint Watermelon Lemonade (Inspired by Beach Fossils)

  1. so so good. I scrapped the simple syrup but tossed the frozen melon, basil, mint, and lemon/lime into my blender… with about half a cup of sugar and some sierra mist (oh and bacardi)… it was yum!

    Thanks for the awesome recipe.

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