I make fun of Jeff for ordering pink drinks. I think I’ve given him a complex. When a cocktail sounds especially girly he even makes me order it for him. But this is a different kind of pink drink. OK, it’s still pink. But it’s complex and flavorful enough that you almost forget the color.
We’ve been making our own flavored vodka for some time now, orange cinnamon, smokey chili… I promise to tell you about those soon. But I never considered herb-infused vodka. My brother, knowing that I have an extremely prolific basil plant, suggested that basil-infused vodka might be a great way to use up some basil and play around behind the bar at the same time.
Once we had the vodka, watermelon was a natural mixer. One of my favorite summer meals is a simple plate of sliced watermelon, feta cheese and basil. Minus the cheese it becomes a fantastically refreshing summer drink. Don’t skip the basil garnish as the fragrance of fresh basil here really makes the experience. And if you don’t have a fancy juicer and therefore are stumped at watermelon juice here, never fear. You can simply puree watermelon chunks in a blender and strain out the solids through cheese cloth.
Watermelon Basil Martini
3 ounces basil infused vodka (recipe below)
5 ounces fresh watermelon juice
basil leaves for garnish
2 slices cucumber for garnish (optional)
In a cocktail shaker combine the vodka, juice and ice. Shake and then strain into two chilled martini glasses. Garnish with basil and cucumber.
Basil Infused Vodka
4 cups vodka
2 cups basil leaves and stems
Combine the basil and vodka in a bottle or large jar, making sure all basil is submerged. Allow vodka to sit in a cool place, out of the sun, for 1-2 days. Do not steep longer than two days. Strain the vodka and store at room temperature.