Basil Watermelon Caipirinha

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Watermelon and basil soaked in Cachaça makes for a delicious summertime dessert.Basil Watermelon Caipirinha
Basil Watermelon Caipirinha

When I wasn't in the classroom during my college years, I was solving bigger problems; like how to smuggle alcohol into the dorms. It was in this place of higher learning that I discovered that watermelon soaks up vodka like a dry sponge. Back then, drinking was much more a means to an end, so proof was often important that palate, and yet somehow, vodka soaked watermelon managed to bring on the tipsy without sacrificing taste.

Basil Watermelon Caipirinha

Fast forward a dozen years, and booze soaked watermelon is still one of my favorite endings to a summer picnic. It pacifies my sweet-tooth without weighing me down with a ton of butter and sugar. This Basil Watermelon Caipirina also has the added benefit of looking like a salad, for those of us that live in places with draconian open container laws.

While it isn't a traditional Brazilian Caipirnha, all the flavours are there, and I love how the vegetal notes in the Cachaça compliment the green basil and cucumber-like flavor of the watermelon. The two lime juices add tartness, and a floral note that keeps the whole thing from tasting too sweet.

Basil Watermelon Caipirinha

I brought this Basil Watermelon "Caipirinha" to a picnic we had on the Hudson for Independence Day along with some sausage made from acorn fed black pigs, Perlagrigia cheese with black truffles, garlic marinated roasted peppers, and a baguette. The soaking liquid made for a pre-picnic cocktail and the watermelon became dessert.

Here are a few pics of the amazing Macy's fireworks show that lit up the entire Hudson.

Basil Watermelon Caipirinha

Fireboat putting on a show at sunset

Basil Watermelon Caipirinha

Basil Watermelon Caipirinha

Basil Watermelon Caipirinha

Basil Watermelon Caipirinha

I handheld all these shots after consuming a bunch of the watermelon, and with exposures in the 2 second range, it's a miracle that these didn't turn out more blurry.

Summary

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  • Courseeasy

Ingredients

12 ounces
Cachaça
1/4 cup
Demerara sugar (or light brown sugar)
handful
Basil leaves finely chopped
1
Lime juiced
1
Sweet lime juiced (optional)
1 small
Seedless watermelon peeled and cubed (from a 3-4 pound melon)

Steps

  1. Muddle together the Cachaça, sugar, basil and lime juices. Pour the mixture over the watermelon and let it soak overnight in the refrigerator, stirring a few times to ensure the watermelon is evenly soaked.
  2. Serve in a bowl with some of the soaking liquid, or put it in a blender and puree for a cocktail.

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