I love watermelon and basil. This recipe is fresh, delicious, and highlights the best of those ingredients. The recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of vodka, not because we love boozing, but instead to prevent the sorbet from freezing solid. Although, mixing this sorbet into a cocktail isn’t a half-bad idea.
Watermelon Basil Mint Sorbet
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3o basil leaves, divided
12 mint leaves
zest of 1/2 lemon
4 cups watermelon, cubed and seeded
juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp vodka
Make a simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until almost boiling and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add 24 basil leaves, 12 mint leaves, and the lemon zest. Let it steep for 10-30 minutes (until the flavor is as strong as you prefer). Once the syrup is strong enough, strain it to remove the leaves and zest. Let it cool.
In food processor, puree the watermelon until mostly smooth. Strain the watermelon puree with a large-holed colander/sieve over a bowl to remove any remaining seeds and big chunks of pulp. Finely chop the remaining 6 basil leaves. Stir in the basil leaves, simple syrup, lemon juice, and vodka.
Put the whole mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s directions. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, put the mixture into a 1 gallon ziploc bag and freeze for 2 hours, making sure to massage the bag every 30 minutes to prevent big chunks from freezing solid.