Refined Sugar Free Basil Watermelon Lemonade

Refined Sugar Free Basil Watermelon Lemonade is sweetened with agave syrup and has a perfect balance of sweet and sour. This lemonade is meant to be enjoyed ice cold with great friends on your front porch!

Two cups and a pitcher of refined sugar free basil watermelon lemonade with fresh basil and lemon on the table

It all started with a gross watermelon…

I picked up a watermelon, despite it not being in season right now. How could I resist? The taste of Summer is calling me and I answered. Mistake. The watermelon was grainy textured, dry as the Sahara Desert, and lacked flavor. Nasty.

Well, I could chuck it to the chickens and watch them chow it down in 2 minutes flat. I decided to make an effort in drawing out the flavor of the watermelon with a lemonade recipe instead!

This is definitely going to be my new favorite go-to recipe when watermelons just aren’t the greatest. Grab a glass, some crushed ice, and pull up a seat, this is going to be your new favorite summertime drink!

close up shot of a glass of iced refined sugar free basil watermelon lemonade

Sugar Substitutes

Raw cane sugar is a better option simply because it is processed a lot less and without questionable practices.  Cattle bones are turned into bone char, which is marketed as natural carbon can be used to help whiten the sugar.  This process can be completely skipped if the consumer opts for the United States grown raw cane sugar, which can be found at most grocery stores.

For this recipe, we will be using agave syrup.

This natural syrup from the agave plant is high in fructose sugar, but ranks low in the glycemic index. This is because your body cannot readily metabolize too much fructose, so the blood sugar levels are not readily spiked. It has a very agreeable, neutral taste, and like all sugars, should be used in moderation.

Honey is a wonderful substitute for agave syrup.

Raw, local, organic honey can be used in the same ratios when substituting agave syrup.

Maple Syrup is also a wonderful natural sweetener.

Although, it does have a distinct taste and can set this lemonade off balance. Never buy any other maple syrup other than specifically marked bottles that say “100% maple syrup.” Other brands are loaded with horrible synthetic sweeteners like corn syrup.

refined sugar free watermelon basil lemonade with two cups, a pitcher, fresh basil, and squeezed lemon with a napkin.

Easy Watermelon Basil Lemonade Recipe

Who’s done it? You bought a whole watermelon, sliced up half, and then you have no more room in your fridge. This is a perfect way to use up all the watermelon and reap the health benefits, too!

What are the health benefits of watermelon?

  • Antioxidants such as lycopene and Vitamin C help combat and attack free radicals in your body. Free radicals deteriorate healthy cellular structure, which can lead to many health issues.
  • After consuming watermelon, your kidneys begin a conversion process by turning amino acid, L-citrulline, into another amino acid, L-arginine. This is credited for helping with glucose regulation, thus helping protect against diabetes.
  • The color of a watermelon is all thanks to Lycopene. This antioxidant is heart healthy because it reduces cholesterol levels and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Recovery and quick hydration are just another added benefit. Had a tough work out? Watermelon is packed with restorative amino acid, L-citrulline. This is great for accelerating the process of removing lactic acid from your muscles, helping you recover easier and faster!

Health benefits of lemons:

  • Packed with antioxidants like Vitamin C, are you seeing a trend? This lemonade is a perfect tonic for s boost of vitamin C!
  • Folate is found in lemons, and so important for building the very foundation of genetic material. Furthermore, it is also responsible for aiding cardiovascular health
  • Great for kidney stones, this acidic citrus is known to help break them down and pass them easier.
set up glasses of watermelon basil lemonade with napkin

Equipment needed

  • Citrus juicer
  • Blender
  • Small pitcher
  • Wooden spoon
  1. First, the watermelon is going to get a quick turn through the blender. Toss the basil in, and blend until smooth.
  2. Juice the lemons using the citrus juicer. Toss the pulp and the seeds in your compost, or pick the seeds out and put the pulp in the lemonade- your choice!
  3. Pour agave syrup into the bottom of the pitcher. Then, pour the watermelon juice, lemon juice, and water. Give it a good stir with your favorite large spoon, and get the cups ready! Easy-peasy.

Tips for picking out the perfectly ripened watermelon

Look for the field spot

The large yellow spot on the watermelon is an indicator it sat and ripened in the field. The darker yellow the field spot is, the longer it was allowed to ripen in the sun on the vine. This is going to be your juiciest, sweetest melon!

Don’t grab the waxy looking watermelon

Opt for the watermelon that lacks the shine. I know, that sounds kind of backwards. Wouldn’t you want the prettier, shinier one? Nope! Much like honeydew, as watermelons ripen, they lose the outside shine. Lack of the waxy, shiny appearance is a sign of a mature watermelon.

Knock on your melons

Knock, knock, just checking your ripeness! You should knock on your watermelon with your knuckles and hear and feel a bounce to it. If the melon reflects with a thud, the inside is bound to be mushy and close to spoiling.

Check for pollination and sugar spots

These areas on a watermelon are the black scabs on a watermelon that make it look unappealing and battered. Don’t worry though, these are the hidden gems! These spots indicate there was once sugar leaking out, meaning these melons are juicier and more delicious.

Grab the big boy

I don’t think I have ever witnessed someone just grab a watermelon and dash out. Everyone picks one up and delicately glaces over it. Grab a few and compare them. Select the one that is heaviest for its size, as this is a great indication it is logged with water.

More Fabulous Drinks

  • The Pinkity Drinkty is a classic, refreshing strawberry coconut drink with a touch of caffeine to help get you through the day!
  • Gut Healthy Green Monster Smoothie is a perfect blend of fruits and vegetables to nourish your body, and get the day rockin’!
  • Orange Creamsicle Chia Pudding is like Summer, but for breakfast!
upclose shot of watermelon basil lemonade in a mason jar

Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram to stay in touch! I love to see your creations! Tag me at #SeaSaltSavorings to show me what you’ve made!

upclose shot of watermelon basil lemonade in a mason jar

Refined Sugar Free Basil Watermelon Lemonade

Sea Salt Savorings
Refined Sugar Free Basil Watermelon Lemonade is sweetened with agave syrup and has a perfect balance of sweet and sour.  This lemonade is meant to be enjoyed ice cold with great friends on your front porch!
5 from 16 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Course Drinks


  • 4 cups diced watermelon
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 2/3 cup agave syrup


  • In a blender, combine diced watermelon and basil.  Blend until it is smooth.
  • Halve the lemons, and juice them using the citrus juicer.  
  • In a pitcher, add the agave syrup, lemon juice, watermelon/basil juice, and water.  Stir with a large spoon, and combine well.  Serve over ice.  Mangia!

Nutrition values are estimates, for exact values consult a nutritionist.

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