I am a major fan of this pretty pink cocktail. It was very light, refreshing, and minimally sweet. Puréed watermelon is the only source of sweetness. Perfect.
This recipe was adapted from 3-Ingredient Cocktails by Robert Simonson, via The New York Times. I did not strain the puréed watermelon and omitted the jalapeño slices. We tried it with both the cayenne and salt on the rim, and salt alone. Both were delicious. 😉
The original recipe recommends 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.
Yield: 2 drinks
For the (optional) Salted Rim:
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt or fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon Tajín or 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne (optional)
For the Cocktail:
- ice, as needed
- 6 ounces fresh watermelon juice (from about 1 1/2 cups chopped seedless watermelon)(I used cubes from a mini watermelon)
- 2 ounces tequila, preferably blanco
- 2 ounces Cointreau
- 2 ounces fresh lime juice (from 1 to 2 large limes), rinds reserved (I used 1 1/2 limes)
- 2 to 3 thinly sliced jalapeño rounds, optional
- small slices of watermelon, for garnish, optional
- Prepare the salted rim, if using: In a small shallow bowl or plate, combine the sea salt and Tajín or cayenne. Set aside.
- Blend the watermelon in a Vitamix or blender; strain if desired. (I left it puréed.)
- In a shaker filled with ice, combine the watermelon juice, tequila, Cointreau, 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.)
- Using one of the squeezed lime halves, run it along the rim of two margarita or rocks glasses, then dip the rims into the salt mixture.
- Fill the glasses with ice, then strain the margaritas into the glasses. Garnish with additional jalapeño slices and/or watermelon slices. Enjoy immediately.