8 cups frozen cubed seedless watermelon
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup basil leaves, chopped (plus more leaves for garnish, if desired)
1/2 cup lemon juice (about 3-4 lemons)
1. For the basil simple syrup: in a small saucepan, heat sugar and water over medium-low until the sugar granules have all dissolved. Remove the pan from the stove and add the chopped basil leaves. Let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Strain the liquid and discard the basil.
2. In a blender, combine watermelon, lemon juice, and basil simple syrup. Puree until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve, and top individual cups with basil leaves for garnish if desired.
Notes: I cut the cubes into thin slices before adding them to the blender to make sure there weren’t any seeds. Alternatively, you can strain the mixture after blending it, but you will also separate out some of the watermelon pulp, which I personally like to incorporate. Although I didn’t have time to do it for this rendition, I also recommend freezing the watermelon cubes for an hour or two before putting them in the blender.