Watermelon Basil Soda Pop

My goal toward healthy, whole eating has been, at best, a daily struggle (hello irresistibly cheesy takeout pizza and Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl from the ice cream shop down the street).

But here’s one thing I can say we’ve done well in our household: Our refrigerator hasn’t been stocked with so much as one bottle of processed, artificially flavored soda (Coke, Pepsi, Sprite, etc., etc.) in a long, long time.

I can’t remember the last time we bought soda.

My husband Chris and I mainly just drink water.

Plain old water does get boring though.

So recently I decided to make a fresh, summery homemade soda pop.

Full of fresh basil and watermelon, it’s a nutritious drink you can feel good about.

And it definitely offers a sweet, refreshing, flavorful break from plain old water.

Bonus: this drink just tastes like summer!

Here are the only four ingredients (yes, only four ingredients!) you’ll need for this recipe.

Begin by scooping out all the fruit from half of a seedless watermelon using a large spoon or melon baller.

Watermelon is made up of mostly water, so it makes perfect sense to use in a flavored summer drink.

But it also makes for an extremely nutritious drink  - watermelon contains a lot of Vitamin A (to protect your vision), Vitamin C (for a strong immune system), Lycopene (to help prevent cancer), and Potassium (for a healthy heart).

Place the watermelon in a food processor and pulse until it’s completely puréed.

You may need to work in batches to purée all the fruit.

Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and pour the puréed melon through the strainer.

The strainer will catch any pulp and seeds – discard them.

Pour the strained watermelon juice into a large pitcher.

Add some fresh basil leaves.

Use a wooden spoon to press the basil against the bottom of the pitcher, releasing the basil flavor throughout the drink.

Add some sparkling water.

If you’re like me, you’re finished here!

I like my watermelon soda just like this, with just the slightest hint of sweetness from the watermelon.

But if you’re more like my meat-and-potatoes-guy and you like your soda pop the traditional way (i.e. a lot sweeter!), add some 100 percent pure pear juice for extra sugary sweetness.

Stir everything one last time and then pour into glasses and serve.

Side Note: because of the extremely fresh ingredients, this drink is best served immediately, not stored.

This fizzy drink has a lot of watermelon deliciousness, with a hint of sweet, fresh basil flavor.

Refreshing and unique.

Summer in liquid form.

One sip and you’ll feel pure,nostalgic, ‘hot-and-humid-last-day-of-school-before-summer-vacation’ joy wash over you.

Here is the complete recipe:

Watermelon and Basil Soda Pop

Total Time: 15 minutes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes

Yield: 6 (about 6 cups)

Ingredients

1/2 seedless watermelon
2 cups sparkling water
3/4 cup 100 percent pure pear juice (optional)
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

 

Directions

Using a large spoon or melon baller, scoop the flesh of the watermelon into a food processor.  Pulse until the melon is completely pureed. (Depending upon the size of the food processor, this may be done in batches.) Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and pour the puréed melon into the strainer. Strain and discard any seeds or pulp.  Pour the watermelon juice into a large pitcher.  Add the fresh basil leaves and use a wooden spoon to press the basil against the bottom of the pitcher, crushing the basil and releasing its flavors.  Stir in the sparkling water.  For added sweetness, also stir in the pear juice.  Serve immediately.
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Comments

  1. These pops scream SUMMER and HAPPINESS out loud! Gorgeous photos.

  2. This is .. for my balcony … love watermelons – learned to eat that when I visit Chicago for the first time – a cafe next to my hotel had watermelon chunks with chopped mint – and I bought every day or strawberries with chopped mint … for my breakfast – will go back in 14 days time. Can’t wait. So on file we go .. the soda pop and me.

  3. This reminds me of a hammock a good book and sunnies – loving it :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  4. I love this for a refreshing summer drink! Delish!

  5. Hi,
    Oh that does look very nice. :)

  6. I find it easy to resist pop, but often long for something refreshing like this. It’ll make a nice change from my quick lemonade. So pretty!

  7. YUm!!! This almost reminds me of watermelon agua fresca ;)

  8. This looks great! I’m a water with lemon or lime girl. Sometimes sparkling water. Once I quit soda there was no going back!

  9. what a great great idea.. so healthy and a great way to feel like you’re having a cocktail, but not! i love the colors and watermelon and basil, but of course!

  10. This is fantastic. Absolutely need to try this on the weekend! Right now, I’m mostly into lemon-ginger water or lemon-vanilla fizzy drinks, but this watermelon basil combination sounds awesome!

  11. I’m not a big fan of this watermelon but it looks so cool! want to drink right now!

  12. YUM! This sounds delightful. I can’t wait to try it. :)

  13. A most unusual soda pop, but love the idea of keeping it healthy. By the way how is cute little Calvin doing. Hope you are having a great summer!
    Joy

  14. Gorgeous. I’m helping my mom make food for a party and I’ll be sure to use this!

  15. I love watermelon and I can imagine how refreshing these taste! And so pretty too :) Great recipe!

  16. Oh, I like the sound of this! A nice change from plain water!

  17. What a fantastic, refreshing looking drink! This is just what I’ve been needing lately to battle the scorching Texas sun. Perfect recipe! Saving it to try soon.

  18. This sounds amazing! I will try this this weekend! It’s prefect timing, too, because I just planted basil in my windowsill.

    P.S. I love those Weck jars. Do you can with them, or just use them for storage? I am always in the market for new Weck jars, I love them so much.

  19. All I can say is MMMMMMMMMMMM!

  20. My minds already running off to the grocery store as I’m scribbling down on today’s to do list to get a watermelon and some fresh basil!! Awesome way to cool off on a hot summer day!

  21. Oh yum! Sounds so refreshing!

  22. Smart idea! I always try not to drink flavoured and sweetened drinks and I agree water and iced tea are boring. I’m going to try this for sure!

  23. Beautiful drink!!! Looks perfect for a hot day :) And we have been having plenty of those here!

  24. cookingactress says:

    My boyfriend has been missing pop!! AND he loves watermelon! AND I have leftover soda water a lot of the time from work so this is soo perfect!! TY :D

  25. Mmm… watermelon and basil sound so good together! Pretty pink drink! I don’t usually drink a lot of soda either, I’m not a big pop girl unless its reallyyyy hot out, then I crave a diet coke!

    And its about a million degrees in Chicago right now so this looks perfect!!

  26. I love this homemade soda! It looks so refreshing and so much better than sugary store-bought sodas. Lovely for summer.

  27. jinmike008 says:

    Watermelon has this lycopene which has antioxidant that helps to prevent such things as heart attacks, strokes and combat the on set of fatty liver disease, plus, it is very delicious! I really like the idea! Thanks for sharing!

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