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Buzzed: Jeremy Onesko’s Basil-Watermelon Cooler

Welcome to Buzzed, in which local bartenders show us how to make their favorite drinks—and let you in on their recipes. This week, Jeremy Onesko of Westend Bistro shows us how to make a thirst-quenching Basil-Watermelon Cooler.

“You are what you eat” is a common truism. What you put inside your mouth tells the world exactly the kind of person you are. In the same vein, you are what you drink. A Stella Artois tells the world you’re probably a snob, but more likely just effete. Likewise, nothing says cheap like a can of PBR—even if you’re trying to be ironic.

But what about what you make? Are you what you choose to make? The basil-watermelon cooler placed in front of me on the bar at Westend Bistro by Eric Ripert suggests so. Chosen and prepared for this Video Buzzed by bartender Jeremy Onesko, the summer drink is refreshing and simple, but with just enough of a kick to keep it from being bland. Likewise, Onesko is straightforward and energetic. In between takes, he joked that this video will launch his television career (not going to happen—sorry, Jeremy) and got a kick out of sharing his recipe with some customers. Onesko is equally forthcoming about his hobby: When not tending bar, you can find him  at a golf course.

You can order a Basil-Watermelon Cooler at Westend Bistro through the rest of the summer. You can also check below for the drink’s recipe and our video with Onesko.

Basil-Watermelon Cooler
Jeremy Onesko, Westend Bistro

7 to 8 cubes local fresh watermelon
3 basil leaves
Juice of half a lime
1 ounce ginger syrup
1¼ ounces Patron Silver tequila
Club soda


Buzzed: Adam Bernbach
Buzzed: Chantal Tseng
Buzzed: Gina Chersevani

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