watermelon margarita & watermelon limeade

This all began innocently enough one evening while making watermelon limeade. Before you knew it, I had poured some tequila into my no-longer-limeade and was knee deep in concocting a margarita recipe (a surprise to approximately no one). I then mixed together some chili-lime salt because, well, why not? The good news is that I ended up with a recipe for both limeade and margaritas, satisfying both my toddler and myself for our Friday night happy hours. I have to say this drink is exceptionally refreshing, and should there be any more earth shattering* heat waves in the Pacific Northwest, I feel armed and ready.

*not an exaggeration…interstate 5 actually buckled/broke in one section and Seattle set a new record high temperature


WATERMELON MARGARITA or WATERMELON LIMEADE
makes one margarita on the rocks or one glass of watermelon limeade

Margarita Ingredients:
0.5oz cointreau or triple sec
1.5oz tequila
3oz fresh watermelon juice (it’s easy to make your own, see step #1)
1oz fresh lime juice
handful of ice cubes
chili lime salt for the rim (see below)
garnish: mint sprig and lime wedge

Chili-lime salt:
makes enough salt for several cocktails
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
zest of one large lime
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Watermelon limeade:
6oz fresh watermelon juice (it’s easy to make your own, see step #1)
1oz fresh lime juice
ice cubes
chili lime salt for the rim
garnish: mint and lime wedge

Directions:

1. To make your own watermelon juice: Buy a small or medium-sized seedless watermelon. Cut off the rind and chop the watermelon into large chunks. In a blender or food processor, blend the watermelon on low speed for only a few seconds, until just barely liquified (you don’t want to unnecessarily blend up any seeds*). Strain the juice into a large pitcher using a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. I was able to get 65oz watermelon juice from an 8.5lb watermelon.

2. Make the chili-lime salt: Whisk all chili-lime salt ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour onto a small plate when you are ready to make your drinks.

3. To assemble a margarita: Wet the rim of a cocktail glass with water or a lime wedge. Dip the rim in the salt so the salt sticks to the rim. Put a handful of ice cubes in the prepared cocktail glass. Stir together the cointreau, tequila, watermelon juice, and lime juice and pour over the ice cubes. Garnish with a mint sprig and lime wedge. Drink immediately.

4. To assemble one glass of watermelon limeade: Wet the rim of a cocktail glass with water or a lime wedge. Dip the rim in the salt so the salt sticks to the rim. Put a handful of ice cubes in the prepared cocktail glass. Stir together the watermelon juice and lime juice and pour over the ice cubes. Garnish with a mint sprig and lime wedge. Drink immediately.

*seedless watermelon are only free of the “mature” black seeds, not the “immature” white ones

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