To show my appreciation to our landscapers, who have been working tirelessly for the last few weeks arranging boulders and moving the earth in our backyard, I whipped up a batch of this agua fresca. They were forced to retreat out of the rain by an afternoon cloudburst, so I presented them with this pink drink. Cooling, summery, and infused with my heartfelt thanks, they slurped each sip like the last few drops of the remaining summer. Hope you enjoy it too.
8 cups watermelon (preferably seedless), cubed
2-1 cup fresh basil leaves (depending on how adventurous you're feeling)
Juice of 1 lime
*OPTIONAL: Honey or agave to taste (if you like it sweeter, but if you have a totally ripe melon, there's really no need.)
Place all the ingredients into a blender.
Puree until smooth.
Strain through a fine chinois.
Serve over ice and garnish with basil.
Watermelon: An excellent source of vitamins C and A, as well as beta-carotene and lycopene. All of these are powerful antioxidants which help neutralize free radicals in the body. See here for more health benefits and nutritional value.
Basil: Basil contains flavanoids called orientin and vicenin, which protect us at a cellular level. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Basil is also high in vitamin K, so is great for our blood health. See here for more health benefits and nutritional information.