By Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong
What you need:
1 cup Turbinado sugar (can substitute white sugar)
1 cup water
8 large basil leaves, plus more for garnish
3 pounds ripe seedless watermelon, rind removed and the flesh cut into pieces
½ cup (or more) vodka (optional)
½ teaspoon flake sea salt
What to do:
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together the sugar and the water. Bring to a low boil and cook just long enough for the sugar to completely dissolve. Remove from heat and stir in basil leaves. Place mixture in the refrigerator for a minimum of two hours or overnight. Remove basil leaves.
In a blender, puree the watermelon pieces (at this point you can strain the puree and discard the solids, but I like a thicker blaster so opt not to strain it). Pour into a pitcher and stir in basil infused simple syrup and vodka if you’re feeling cheeky. If mixture is a bit too thick, you can add enough cold water to reach the consistency you like.
model: Andrea Goto
Libbie’s Food Styling Props: Shot on location at Tybee Island, Georgia (South Beach). Model was our own Andrea Goto. Green jeans are from Fab’rik. Glasses are vintage Georges Briard and one of those finds that made me jump up and down when I saw them at Habersham Antiques Market. I paid $1 a piece for them (sadly, they only had 4…I’m looking for 8 more if anyone has them)! The tin dish is the bottom of a vintage serving dish that I picked up at a junk store in Montana for $2.