This is the first of many posts we’ll categorize as “Cocktails with Lieutenant Dan” and we’re starting with a real doozy, a Watermelon Cocktail with Gin and Basil.

Watermelon Cocktail recipe with basil

Watermelon Cocktail

Lieutenant Dan is my husband.

No, he’s not in the military, but his name is Dan. He got the nickname Lt. Dan somewhere around July 1994, but I can’t exactly remember why.

Fortunately, he’s a keeper. We go together like peas and carrots.

There’s nothing hotter than a man who washes dishes, makes linguini from scratch, and shakes a mean martini.

So with that in mind, I give you Lt. Dan…

Watermelon Cocktail ~ Watermelon Basil Bramble via

I love to eat.

This is a good thing considering I have a recipe developer, chef and blogger queen as my wife. In many ways our lives revolve around food –food for sustenance, entertainment, community and family. Many of our family vacations revolve around what restaurants to try or what regional cuisine is in season. Food is a major part of our life. But if I am being completely honest, as much as I love to eat… I really, really love to drink.

In that way the wife and I are different. We often say she likes to eat her calories and I like to drink them (which is why we both have to work out all the time).

Do I have the exquisite appetizer or martini? My answer – gin or vodka. Do I go with the chocolate cake or a single malt? Survey says – 18 year Dalwhinnie. How about a thick-cut ribeye or robust California Cab? You know the answer… Actually, I would rather not have to choose in that situation and have both instead! Anyways, you get the point.

Gin Cocktail with watermelon

So with that in mind, I have agreed to embark on a once a month post entitled “Cocktails with Lieutenant Dan.” (I know, I know – super cheesy name, but doesn’t hearing Forrest say Lieutenant Dayyan make you smile). I will share classics which I learned from my Great Grandmother and grandmother (where I learned to appreciate cocktails – more on that later) as well as some custom concoctions.

Which brings us to our first cocktail with Lieutenant Dan – the Watermelon Basil Bramble, a watermelon basil gin cocktail. It’s summer, there are tons of fresh fruits and herbs, so why not muddle a few of them together with a bit of grandpas cough medicine!


Watermelon Cocktail Tips & Tricks

  • To make watermelon gin cocktails for a crowd, simply scale the recipe up depending on how many people you will have.
  • Serve this cocktail as a red drink to celebrate Juneteenth!
  • If you don’t have limes on hand, you can replace them with lemons!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use store bought simple syrup?

Definitely! You can opt to make your watermelon gin cocktail with store bought simple syrup to save time. But it is super easy and cheap to make right at home!

Can I turn this into a watermelon mocktail drink?

If you don’t drink alcohol or you are making this for someone under 21, you can absolutely turn this into a delicious mocktail! Replace the gin with sparkling water and pour it into the glass at the end or leave it out all together!

What if I don’t like gin?

If you aren’t a fan of gin, replace it with vodka or rum!

Gin Cocktail ~ Watermelon Basil Bramble via

More Summer Beverages:

Lavender Meyer Lemon Tom Collins

Raspberry Basil Mojitos

Pineapple Sugarcane Spa Water

Green Tea Frappuccino ~ Sandra’s Easy Cooking

Strawberry Wine Punch ~ Miss In The Kitchen

Bourbon Peach Old Fashion ~ Josie Lee

Raspberry Lemonade ~ My Baking Addiction

Gin Cocktail ~ Watermelon Basil Bramble via
Print Recipe
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Watermelon Cocktail

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes
"Cocktails with Lieutenant Dan" featuring a real doozy: the Watermelon Basil Gin Cocktail.
Servings: 1 drink


  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounces fresh lime juice
  • 1/2-1 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 watermelon chunks
  • 2 chopped basil leaves
  • Pinch salt


  • Make Ahead: Prepare the simple syrup by heating equal parts water and sugar until dissolved, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Cut the watermelon into 1 1/2-inch chunks.
  • Place the watermelon, basil and salt in a cocktail shaker. Muddle until well smashed and soupy.
  • Add the gin, lime juice and simple syrup. Fill with ice, place the lid on the shaker and shake well—30 seconds or so.
  • Pour into a glass and garnish with extra watermelon and basil.


Serving: 1drink, Calories: 193kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 10mg, Potassium: 64mg, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 325IU, Vitamin C: 13.1mg, Iron: 0.5mg
Course: Beverage
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier
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