Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer, outdoor fun and BBQs. I wanted to create a drink that makes me think of all these things. Obviously my first thought was a cold beer, but next was watermelon on a hot day and basil topping a fresh caprese salad.
Watermelon makes for a great mixer that is light, refreshing and sweet, but what could I do to incorporate the basil? I decided to make basil infused vodka using my freshly planted herb garden. After I added enough basil to fill the bottle, I was not sure on how long to let the basil infuse the vodka. I smelled, tasted and looked at the color of the vodka twice a day. On the 3rd day, a light green color and a surprising bold basil taste had developed. That day, I strained the basil and produced my first bottle of infused vodka.
It took a bit of time to figure out a good flavor balance in the martini, but I think I finally got there. The basil comes through nicely and the watermelon is not overly sweet.
- About a cup of chopped watermelon
- 2 oz basil infused vodka
- ¼ oz St. Germain
- Juice from a lemon wedge
- 2 dashes lemon bitters
- Basil leaf
- Muddle the watermelon in a shaker
- Add the next 4 ingredients
- Add ice and shake
- Double strain the drink into a chilled martini glass
- Garnish with a basil leaf
I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend and have a chance to try this drink out on your friends and family!