• July 22, 2012

    Watermelon Basil Cooler

    0 0 vote
    Article Rating

    I had one of my best friends in the world and her hubby visiting me this week with their gorgeous little baby boy Mason.

    He grabbed hold of my heart with the first toothy grin.

    He squeezed it with every giggle.

    He reduced me to an embarrassing display of nonsense babble in our long “conversations” about what it’s like to be a one-year-old.

    Then I, myself, cried like a baby the night before they left. He’ll know me as Aunty Jenn, and to me, he’s 100% nephew despite no blood relation.

    Just as I was packing my friends into the car to drive the to the airport, I got a phone call with the heart-wrenching news that my uncle had passed away. I’m grieving the brother of my father. A man who reached out to me when I was hurting, and touched my life with his sincerity, love and quiet kindness.

    And I’m writing this post about a drink that I made for friends who are also bizarrely “related” to me as ex-step-uncle, -aunt and -cousin.

    All this brought me to a reflection on family. The people we love and to whom we feel fiercely loyal, but who share none of our genes. The ones who do share our blood but not much else. The people we choose to spend our lives with vs. the ones we were born connected to. The people who cherish you vs. the ones who simply feel “entitled” to you.

    I am lucky to have best friends I consider sisters, and a sister I consider a best friend. An amazing mom, and a motley assortment of steps, ex’s, in-laws, friends and an Irish Setter who have become part of my “family” – a concept that, in heading toward marriage, has become all the more important to me.

    My reflections didn’t yield any life-altering insight. I was simply reminded to nurture the relationships that fulfill me and give myself permission to let go of the ones that dole out apathy and hurtful words. To love ferociously, but wisely. To celebrate and protect my funny little family.

    And if you didn’t before, now you need a drink, am I right?

    Sweet watermelon and a whiff of floral basil against a fizzy backdrop of ginger ale blended into an icy, refreshing cooler. Like with the watermelon milkshake, I started with frozen watermelon chunks avoid diluting its flavour with ice.

    If you ask me, the freezer is a great place to store a hefty wedge of the giant watermelon you just bought and probably won’t be able to finish.

    You could easily make this a virgin drink – it would still be delicious without the vodka.


    • 5 cups frozen watermelon chunks
    • 1 lime, juiced
    • 4-6 small basil leaves
    • 2-4 tbsp granulated sugar
    • 4 cups (1 litre) ginger ale
    • 12 ounces vodka


    1. Combine frozen watermelon, lime juice, basil and 2 tbsp sugar in a blender. Taste; add more sugar, if needed. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a large measuring cup or bowl (ideally with a spout). Discard the solids in the sieve. You should have 4 cups of watermelon juice.

    2. Measure 1/2 cup watermelon juice into 8 tall, ice-filled glasses. Add 1 1/2 ounces vodka to each, then top up with ginger ale (approximately 1/2 cup ginger ale per serving).

    0 0 vote
    Article Rating

    Hi, I'm Jennifer Pallian, BSc, RD. I studied cooking, baking and food chemistry in a university lab, have years of experience as a professional test kitchen recipe developer and providing technical baking support to bakeries and home bakers. Want to know why your bread didn't rise? I've got your back.I now work full-time as a blogger, putting the years of science and baking to work right here. On Foodess, I share the best recipes in my arsenal - tested-till-PERFECT recipes for cozy baking, easy recipes for weeknight meals and delicious globally-inspired comfort food, plus lots of science-based cooking and baking tips. Welcome!

    Notify of
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments


    Thanks for signing up! Check your inbox to confirm.
    Rose Wine Sangria Recipe August 5, 2019
    Rosé Sangria with Fresh Peaches

    FacebookPinterestTwitter 0 0 vote Article Rating This Rosé Sangria is the drink you’ve been missing in your life.  A juicy, delicious twist on classic sangria with rosé wine, ripe peaches and strawberries. It’s a quick-and-easy, 5-ingredient recipe you’ll fall in love with. Sangria is a non-negotiable warm-weather staple in my backyard. I love the classic […]

    Hot Toddy Recipe | Foodess January 8, 2019
    Hot Toddy

    The world touts the hot toddy cocktail (a hot whiskey drink with lemon and clove) as a cold cure. I dove into the truth behind this claim, and was truly surprised!

    Ginger Cocktail Recipe | Foodess December 4, 2018
    Sparkling Ginger Cocktail

    A bubbly bourbon cocktail recipe with a simple-to-make spicy ginger syrup. It’s the perfect blend of spicy, sour, sweet and bubbly.

    Would love your thoughts, please comment.x