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.

Comments

  1. says

    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.

  2. says

    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!

  3. says

    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!

  4. says

    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.

  5. says

    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!

  6. 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

  7. says

    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!!

  8. 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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