Watermelon-Basil Soda

Watermelon and basil form a heavenly match in this summery soda.

4 cups watermelon
½ cup sugar
½ cup fresh basil
Simple syrup (optional)
Tools: blender, strainer or cheesecloth
Glass:  pint glass
Garnish: lime wedge and sprig of basil

Peel and chop watermelon. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with sugar. Tear up basil and add to the bowl with the sugar and watermelon. Let sit for 45 minutes at room temperature. Run the mixture through a juicer or blend well in a blender. Strain. Add simple syrup to taste. Fill a tall glass with ice. Tear a few leaves of fresh basil onto ice. Pour 2 ounces of watermelon-basil syrup in glass. Top with soda, stir and garnish with lime and sprig of basil.

Chris Ronis, Northern Spy Food Co.