THE AWESOME, BUT LOTS OF WORK WAY
Ingredients: A watermelon, 2 cups of gin, half a cup of white superfine sugar, half a cup of water, a teaspoon of salt, a handful of chopped basil and 6 oz lime juice (about 6 limes).
Three words: Frozen. Watermelon. Balls. (For the rest of this recipe, we’re going to need you to try very hard not to make a series of “that’s what she said” jokes.)
First things first: Start with the balls. (See what we mean? It’s hard. Ahem. It’s difficult.) In this case we’re using the melon balls as magical non-diluting ice cubes. Cut your watermelon in half. Use a melon baller (or small ice cream scoop) to ball out one of the halves. Place the balls, one per slot, into empty ice cube trays and freeze. Now scoop the meat out of the other half watermelon, buzz it in the blender and strain it using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth (if you have a juicer, go ahead and put it to work here). You now have watermelon juice. Resist the urge to drink it all. Slice a small round off the bottom of one of the half-watermelon shells and put it in the freezer.
Now make a basil simple syrup: heat sugar, water, salt and basil in a saucepan until it simmers (don’t let it fully boil). Take the pan off the heat, let the mixture steep 15 minutes, then strain out the basil.
It’s time to put your masterpiece together. Mix the watermelon juice with the lime juice, six ounces of basil syrup and two cups of gin. Place the frozen watermelon balls into the frozen watermelon shell and pour the watermelon punch over them.
Serve with ladle and glasses, or make it a communal cocktail with a fistful of straws.