Fresh, juicy watermelon at it’s best makes for an amazing summer libation in this Watermelon Margarita.
I published this post several years ago and like many recently it was time for a redo. I hope the day will come when I will look at photos that are 4-5 years old and not feel like they need to be replaced but the one for this Watermelon Margarita cocktail wasn’t there. I originally made it for a 4th of July barbecue and included some blueberries in the photo…which I came to regret. This is a SUMMER cocktail, not a one holiday cocktail!
Even without the blue touch, it remains pretty perfect for July 4th AND all summer long. Watermelon season is upon us and I can’t look at a seasonal fruit and not think about whether it would make a good margarita. Watermelon? Why yes, yes it is! My only caveat? Try to find a really good one; I got mine at Whole Foods and was happy with it but I’m betting I would have been even happier with one from a farm stand.
Even though I’m republishing today and the 4th of July was 10 days ago, I wanted to keep this photo. Sometimes we get so swept up in today’s politics it can be easy to forget, we’ve forged a great country from the simplest of circumstances and I know I need to occasionally be reminded of how far we’ve come. We are so very lucky to live in these United States of America!
The Declaration of Independence, proclaiming America’s independence from England, was formally adopted by the Continental Congress on this day and the rest is history. I personally love seeing the homes with flags affixed to the front proudly celebrating this holiday. I recently saw some comments about our proclivity to fly a flag on our homes; during holidays or even all year round. Some might think it’s overdone but I for one love the patriotism.
Far too often we are categorized by small parts of the population that the world thinks represents all of us (Example: Kardashians. UGH!). And for the most part politicians and celebrities represent none of us. The honest, hard working people you know that care about their families, the food they eat and how they treat their neighbors. Those are the folks I’m celebrating with today and with all of the faults and problems that are bound to be associated with a country with 300 million people, we do love the USA!
It is a time to celebrate and we do it up big time with barbecues, picnics, lots of food and of course beer, sangria and light, fruit forward cocktails; actually that’s pretty true for events all summer long.
I first made this drink trying to mimic one at a local Chili’s it was a bit lacking; watermelon is so much water that the flavor did not have quite the punch I wanted. After much thought and consideration (or…what red fruit did I have in the fridge?) I decided to try adding some strawberries. Perfect. They somehow magically added a lift to the watermelon without taking over the flavor.
The rest is pretty typical margarita fare but again, wanting to boost the fruit component, I used part orange liqueur and part orange simple syrup; I wanted that citrus note without all of it being accompanied by more alcohol. The requisite lime juice and it was done. AND it was good. I have a whole pitcher made for neighbors. They don’t even know it yet…should I share that they need to come over? Stat?
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- Zest from one orange
- 4-5 cups cubed and seeded watermelon (I used a small seedless and it was just about the perfect amount for the mixture and some cubes for garnish)
- 1 pint strawberries, cleaned and hulled
- 1 and 1/2 cups tequila
- 1/2 cup orange liqueur
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- Salt and sugar for rimming (I mix equal parts together)
- Lime slices, watermelon cubes and blueberries for garnish (skip the blueberries if you want for non Independence Day cocktails!)
- Bring water, sugar and orange zest to a boil in a small saucepan, boiling just long enough for the sugar to dissolve, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat; strain out the zest and cool completely.
- Combine watermelon and strawberries in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour over a strainer into a large bowl to remove solids.
- Return fruit juice to blender and add tequila, orange simple syrup, orange liqueur and lime juice and blend thoroughly.
- Put pitcher into refrigerator for at least 2 hours allowing flavors to meld and mixture to get cold.
- Put salt and sugar mixture on a plate. Rub the rim of glasses with a quarter lime slice and dip them into the salt/sugar.
- Fill glasses with ice and add the watermelon margarita mixture; top with garnish of watermelon cubes, berries or lime slices.
By the way, another fun ‘cocktail’ for today and all summer long? Margarita Watermelon. Slices of watermelon are drenched in a mixture of tequila, simple syrup and lime. So amazing. And yes, we slurped from those plates! And talk about a redo…this one must be next on my calendar! Enjoy…