For our 30th birthday trip to Las Vegas a couple of years ago, we stayed at the Encore at Wynn and had the most memorable watermelon cocktail (served in a tiny watermelon half!) by the pool. I made a note on my phone of the listed ingredients on the menu and just recently attempted to make it at home with great success. Not too sweet, and delightfully refreshing, it’s just a little too easy to drink so pace yourself!
2 oz. watermelon juice, puréed from a seedless watermelon and strained
1 oz. silver tequila
1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 oz. basil simple syrup*
Sprigs of fresh mint or basil
I used a baby watermelon half as our glasses to replicate the pool vibes, but a regular glass will work too. We bought a bigger watermelon to make the juice and puréed cubed watermelon in our Vitamix. With the baby watermelons, we used a melon baller to scoop them out and popped the balls into the cocktail as a little extra garnish. The watermelon half can hold two cocktails, perfect for sharing. Fill the watermelon or your glass with lots of ice, add all of the ingredients and stir. Garnish with a sprig of fresh basil, mint or both.
*To make the basil simple syrup, combine 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup of water, bring to a boil and let cool. Add a sprig of fresh basil to the hot mixture and allow to steep as it cools. Store in a sealed glass container in the refrigerator.