Fruits de Friday: Thai Basil Watermelon Cups

May 21, 2015

Thanks to our parents’ emphasis on manners and our abiding love of invitations, we’ve always prided ourselves on adhering to guesthood’s golden rule: never show up empty-handed. From rooftop parties to backyard barbecues, summer offers many occasions to bring along crowd-pleasing plus-onesthe most appreciated being creative, boozy and, of course, delicious. With that in mind, we’re busy transforming juicy-sweet watermelon into vessels for basil-infused, lemongrass-laced mini-cocktails for our next outdoor fƒªte. Consider them our refreshing RSVP.

WHAT YOU’LL NEEDFor the simple syrup:

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

3 lemongrass stalks, chopped

For the watermelon cups:

Seedless watermelon

For the cocktail:

1 ½ ounces gin

½ oz lemongrass simple syrup

3 Thai basil leaves, plus more for garnish

1 lime wedge

Bring water, sugar and the chopped lemongrass stalks to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool, then strain.Slice both ends off a seedless watermelon with a sharp knife. Stand the watermelon of one of the flat ends and carefully carve the rind off of on all sides. Turn the watermelon on its side and slice into several 1-2 inch thick rounds. Using a melon baller, carve out as many cup centers as you can, giving each plenty of room for the cup walls. Cut out each cup in your desired shape.For every 2-3 watermelon cups: add gin, lemongrass syrup, basil leaves and lime wedge to a shaker. Muddle well and add ice. Shake vigorously and strain into cups. Garnish with extra Thai basil. Repeat until all watermelon cups have been filled.

More summer spirits, spritzers and oh-be-joyfuls, right this way.

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