Watermelon-Basil Cooler

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 15 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 1 mocktail
We used nonalcoholic tequila to make this zero-proof take on the margarita. There are several new brands on the market, and like real tequila, each one has a slightly different flavor.



  1. Make the basil syrup: Bring the sugar, basil leaves, lime zest, chile and 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, then transfer to a container and refrigerate until cooled, about 1 hour. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. (The syrup can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.)
  2. Stir together 3/4 ounce of the basil syrup, the lime juice, watermelon juice and tequila in a liquid measuring cup. Pour into an ice-filled rocks glass and garnish with a basil sprig.

Cook’s Note

If you can’t find bottled watermelon juice, puree cubed watermelon in a blender until smooth, then strain.