By Scott Loitsch, The New York Times
My dreamiest summer dish is a perfect watermelon, but just as good? A watermelon margarita.
All the homemade ice cream, served in a cone with chocolate sprinkles! (Dishes are for winter.)
Oh, and spiedies! A staple of barbecues and picnics for me, growing up outside Binghamton, New York, and an essential taste of summer.
Mixing cocktails may seem intimidating, but it’s actually quite intuitive once you understand how to balance the alcohol, sweetness and acidity. This version uses fresh watermelon juice — a sweet but subtle nod to summer. Be sure to taste and add more watermelon juice if your margarita is too boozy, and extra lime juice or even a pinch of salt if it’s too sweet.
By: Alexa Weibel
Yield: 2 drinks
Total time: 5 minutes
For the Salted Rim (optional):
- 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon Tajín or 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne (optional)
For the Drink:
- Ice, as needed
- 6 ounces fresh watermelon juice (from about 1 1/2 cups chopped seedless watermelon, blended and strained)
- 2 ounces tequila, preferably blanco
- 2 ounces Cointreau (optional)
- 2 ounces fresh lime juice (from 1 to 2 large limes), rinds reserved
- 2 to 3 thinly sliced jalapeño rounds (optional)
1. Prepare the salted rim, if using: In a small shallow bowl or plate, combine the sea salt and Tajín. Set aside.
2. In a shaker filled with ice, combine the watermelon juice, tequila, Cointreau (if using), lime juice and jalapeño (if using). Shake to combine. (Note: The watermelon flavor shines brighter without the Cointreau, but the liqueur takes the drink into more traditional margarita territory. If you’d like to compare, first try the mixture without, the liqueur, then add 1 ounce of it per serving.)
3. Using one of the squeezed lime halves, run it along the rim of two rocks glasses, then dip the rims into the salt mixture. Fill the glasses with ice, then strain the margaritas into the glasses and enjoy immediately.
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