Simple, yet special, recipes for the home chef.

Watermelon Basil Lemonade

Watermelon Basil Lemonade - 4 ingredients, all kinds of awesome. |

Welcome to Foxes Love Lemonade! I’m (obviously) obsessed with the bright, tart taste of lemons, and I love freshly squeezed lemonade as well! Classic lemonade is just dandy, but in this summertime monthly post, I’ll be coming up with new spins on my favorite cool-down drink.

To say that I’m picky about fruit salad would be an understatement. I’m extremely picky about fruit salad. I never buy those pre-made ones at the grocery store, because they’re full of what I refer to (with great disdain) as filler fruit. Filler fruit is tasteless cantaloupe, bland honeydew, and out-of-season watermelon.

I mean, let’s be real – when you put a fruit salad on a buffet line, everybody is just picking through it with the spoon, fishing for strawberrries, pineapple, and maybe the grapes. Sometimes, there’s blueberries in there (which are A-list), but it’s impossible to scoop a blueberry with a giant spoon, so those are useless in fruit salad as well. Easily, 90% of most fruit salads is filler fruit, and it’s a sad state of affairs.

Watermelon Basil Lemonade - 4 ingredients, all kinds of awesome. |

I’m fairly certain that I could give a passionate, hour-long lecture as to how a proper fruit salad should be constructed, and why the world should JUST SAY NO to filler fruit. I would also include a detailed recipe for Millionaire’s Fruit Salad, which is my answer to those grocery store abominations everywhere. Millionaire’s Fruit Salad is one part strawberries, one part pineapple, and one hundred parts amazing.

Now that I’ve admitted that I am totally nuts about the topic of fruit salad, let’s talk about when watermelon is actually good – when it’s in season! I consider it an A-list fruit in the summer. I could even make a case for it to be included in Millionaire’s Fruit Salad at this time of year only.

Today, instead of a fruit salad, I’ve pureed watermelon and combined it with a quick basil simple syrup and fresh lemon juice for a unique take on pink lemonade. This watermelon basil lemonade is only four ingredients, but it seems so much more special than that. The basil simple syrup can be made in advance and kept in the fridge until whenever a lemonade craving hits.

Watermelon Basil Lemonade - 4 ingredients, all kinds of awesome. |

Watermelon Basil Lemonade

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 25 minutes


For the Basil Simple Syrup:

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup packed roughly chopped fresh basil leaves

For the Lemonade:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped watermelon
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh lemon juice


  1. Make the Basil Simple Syrup: In small saucepot, stir together sugar, water and basil. Cook over medium heat 4 to 6 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer; discard basil. Transfer to jar or container and refrigerate 4 hours or up to 5 days.
  2. Make the Lemonade: In blender, puree water and watermelon until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer; discard solids.
  3. Pour watermelon liquid into pitcher; add lemon juice and Basil Simple Syrup. Stir until well combined. Serve over ice immediately.

This recipe originally appeared here on the NatureBox blog.

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10 Responses to “Watermelon Basil Lemonade”

  1. realfoodbydad — June 11, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Such a perfect summer drink!!


  2. Sophia Del Gigante — June 11, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    This is a GREAT recipe for lemonade! The flavor combo is AWESOME!


  3. Nancy — June 11, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    F*ck yes to everything you said here. I stay the hell away from fruit salad most of the time too because rarely does it feature fresh, in season fruit. I used to work at the kitchen where airline food was made. We’d get these tubs of sliced cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon suspended in some type of preserving liquid that would go on food trays. Needless to say, I didn’t eat it myself. Watermelon during the summer though is the best thing ever. Nothing’s more refreshing than a cold slice on a hot day. I can’t wait to get my hands on some so that I can make this lemonade. That basil simple syrup sounds amazing!


  4. Lori | Foxes Love Lemons — June 11, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    Thanks Matt!


  5. Lori | Foxes Love Lemons — June 11, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    Thanks Sophia!


  6. Lori | Foxes Love Lemons — June 11, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    Oh god, that “preserving liquid” was probably akin to embalming fluid. SICK. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten sliced fruit on an airplane, and now I will never, ever. Just an apple, thanks.


  7. Gourmet Getaways — June 12, 2014 at 1:16 am

    I agree! No to filler fruits! Another great combination you did here, Lori. Love it!

    Gourmet Getaways


  8. debattinella — June 14, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Lori, I think basil is a great addition to drinks – really adds a new dimension. Looks so refreshing!


  9. Lori | Foxes Love Lemons — June 16, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Thanks so much, Deb! I just recently got into basil in drinks, as opposed to savory food, and I’m really liking it! It’s such a versatile herb, that’s for sure.


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