As a child, watermelon was always an ‘outside food.’ Willie, Allison and I would line up on the steps of our back porch, watermelon triangles in hand, our little teeth crunching into the fruit, our faces, fingers and clothes sticky and pink as we let the watermelon take over. Years later I still cherish the purely-summer practice of eating watermelon by-the-slice but am also excited to find it in different, more sophisticated forms. Like cubes of watermelon paired with ripe summer tomatoes and salty feta cheese or bite-sized pieces of melon tossed with avocado and served over tuna in my recipe found here. And in a time when the humidity is high and we are in need of refreshment more than ever, nothing sounds better to me than a watermelon margarita. Pureed until smooth, the watermelon juice is extracted through a sieve, the essence of this fruit the perfect topper to a classic margarita mix. Topped with fresh slices of jalapeno and a sprig of cilantro, you have a cocktail that is as equally delicious as it is refreshing, the jalapeno offering just the slightest hint of spice as the oils soak into the drink and the cilantro a refreshing hit of herbal freshness. Watermelon, cilantro and jalapenos can be found in abundance at the farmer’s markets this month so make sure to pick up some of the local bounty. I can’t think of a better way to take on the August heat, armed and ready with a spicy watermelon margarita in hand. Cheers!
Setting a sieve over a large bowl, pour the puree through the mesh strainer, using a spoon to extract as much juice as possible. Set aside.
It’s time for a drink! Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add four shots of white tequila, two shots of freshly squeezed lime juice and one shot agave nectar (generally found next to the honey in most groceries). Shake well and pour over ice into a glass.
Top the margarita with the watermelon juice – approximately one shot per drink. Stir to blend and top with fresh slices of jalapeno and a sprig of cilantro. Toast the height of summer and enjoy. Cheers!
- one half of a small watermelon, rind removed and cubed
- one half tsp sugar
- four shots white tequila (six ounces)
- two shots freshly squeezed lime juice (three ounces)
- one shot agave nectar
- one fresh jalapeno, thinly sliced
- fresh cilantro for garnish