When your day isn’t going your way, make margaritas! That’s what I say. When six o’clock rolled around yesterday, I satisfied my margarita craving with one of these thoroughly refreshing, sweet-and-spicy watermelon margaritas. They’re the latest in my collection of seasonal margaritas and I implore you to make them while the melons are still here.
These margaritas aren’t far off from last summer’s honeydew margaritas. Basically, you scoop the melon into your blender (I used my awesome new Vitamix 5200, thanks Vitamix!). The blender will turn the melon into juice in no time flat. You may or may not want to strain the pulp out of the juice, depending on your watermelon and your personal preferences.
Naturally, the quality of your watermelon makes a huge difference in the flavor of your watermelon juice, so hunt down a good one at the farmers’ market if you can. I’ve found that the best watermelons for juice are any watermelons other than the standard grocery store variety, which is what I used here out of necessity. Boo.
The recipe as written below will yield plenty of juice for multiple margaritas (the actual amount will depend entirely on the size of your watermelon). I typed up the margarita ingredients per cocktail so you can make one at a time or multiply at will. If you want to make a pitcher of these, just multiply the ingredients and stir them all together in a pitcher with ice. Keep in mind that the longer you let the jalapeño hang out in the pitcher, the spicier your margaritas will get, so you might want to fish those out after a while.
- 1 small seedless watermelon, or half of a larger watermelon
- 1 part kosher salt
- 1 part ancho chili powder or regular chili powder
- Lime wedges
- 2 ounces fresh watermelon juice
- 1½ ounces tequila, preferably 100% agave silver or blanco tequila
- ¾ ounce fresh lime juice
- ½ ounce fresh orange juice
- ½ teaspoon agave nectar or simple syrup, more to taste
- 1 thinly sliced jalapeño round (1/4th inch wide, a little goes a long way!)
- Optional garnish: 1 tiny watermelon wedge
- To make the watermelon juice, scoop the watermelon flesh into your blender and blend until it has turned into a smooth juice. Depending on your watermelon, you may or may not need to strain out the pulp (if it's too pulpy for your liking, pour it through a fine mesh strainer, pressing the liquid through with a big spoon).
- To prepare your margarita glasses: On a small, rimmed plate, mix together equal parts salt and chili powder. I like to use my fingers to rub the chili powder into the salt (be sure to wash your hands afterward). Run a wedge of lime around the top of each glass. Dip the top of the glass into the salt blend at a 45-degree angle and roll it from side to side to catch the salt. Add ice cubes to your glass and set it aside.
- To make margaritas (feel free to make multiple margaritas at once): Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the watermelon juice, tequila, lime juice, orange juice, agave nectar and top with a jalapeño slice.
- Secure the lid to the shaker and shake for 30 seconds. Taste and add additional sweetener if necessary. Strain the liquid into your prepared glass(es). Cheers!
Leftover watermelon juice? Refrigerate it and drink it within a couple of days!
Make it gluten free: Be sure to use 100 percent agave tequila.
If you love this recipe: You'll also love my classic agave-sweetened lime margaritas, pear nectar with reposado tequila, cantaloupe fiesta cocktails and serrano-spiced paloma cocktails.