This watermelon and cilantro margarita recipe is the best you'll make! Made with fresh watermelon puree, it's perfectly tangy, refreshing and has just the right amount of sweetness. You'll want to sip this one all summer long! Not only is it easy to make, but it's fun and you can serve it with a watermelon orzo salad, cucumber avocado gazpacho or even a strawberry field greens salad!
What makes this Margarita recipe so good?
It's all in the fresh ingredients and good alcohol! If you're one of those that can't stand cilantro, then this recipe might not be for you. You truly need the cilantro in this recipe!
Also, a drink is only as good as the ingredients used to make it. For this reason, we highly recommend making this drink in the middle of the summer when watermelon is in peak growing season. In Northern Virginia, we are spoiled by having over a dozen different varieties of melons able to be grown here and during the summer, you can pretty much find them at any Farmer’s Market.
Ingredients for the Best Watermelon and Margetia Recipe:
Fresh Watermelon: My favorite melon to use for this recipe is Sugar Baby Watermelon. While you may be able to find many different types of Sugar Baby Watermelons, most of the heirloom varieties are distinguished by their solid dark green exterior and smaller, almost perfectly circular size. Sugar Babies are perfect for this recipe because they have a concentrated watermelon flavor with high level of sweetness, which is perfect for standing up to, as well as complementing the other ingredients. In the event that you don’t have a Sugar Baby Melon, feel free to use whatever you have locally. You may need to adjust the agave-to-lime juice ratio a bit but the differences should not be severe.
The Tequila: For this recipe, you want to use a High-Quality Blanco Tequila. Tequila is one of those things where you can instantly tell when corners have been cut, not only in the taste, but also in the hangover (we’ve all been there). The key is to use only tequila that is 100 percent agave and have been distilled twice using only blue agave. This is because you want the cleanest expression of agave in this drink and when tequila is aged, it typically picks up bold flavors that are better to be enjoyed and appreciated on their own.
Fresh Lime Juice: I’m sure that you are starting to see a recurring theme here with the quality and freshness of ingredients in this drink. The same goes for the “sour mix”, or mixture of citrus and syrup that elevates the drink. There really is no replacement for fresh-squeezed lime juice and you don’t need very much at all.
Agave: In the event that you don’t have agave syrup, you can replace it with simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water that has been cooked till the sugar dissolves).
Triple Sec: I prefer to use Triple Sec in this recipe as opposed to it’s “more elevated sibling” Cointreau, because Cointreau is aged and has additional spices steeped into it, which yields a slightly more deep and complex flavor than I am looking for from the “supporting actor” in this production.
Cilantro: The cilantro plays the role of the unsung hero in this drink. While it only plays a small part, when correctly infused, the cilantro helps to elevate all of the other flavors in the drink and serves as the perfect bridge between waves of flavors you taste. The freshness of the cilantro fills the flavor void left when your palate transitions from sour to sweet so you are constantly “entertained” by the flavor and never left with a “bland” moment.
Tips for Making the Best Watermelon and Cilantro Margarita
Season your watermelon puree with just a small pinch of salt and taste it before making the drink. Every watermelon tastes different and if the melon is not fully ripe, you may want to bump up the amount of agave to compensate for some sweetness.
Don't omit the cilantro: It is important to really shake the cilantro into the drink when mixing in order to infuse the cilantro flavor. It may seem like a small step but the addition of the cilantro truly sets the drink apart and helps all of the other flavors find balance.
Make it spicy: Feel free to spice this drink up a bit by adding 2 slices of fresh jalapeno or a few bumps of your favorite hot sauce. Just be careful, you can always add more, but you can’t always take it out.
You have to make this recipe before summer is gone! Cheers and eat well!
Watermelon and Cilantro Margarita
This watermelon and cilantro margarita recipe is the best you'll make! With fresh watermelon puree, it's perfectly tangy, refreshing and has just the right amount of sweetness.
Start by making the watermelon juice/puree by pureeing fresh watermelon in your blender until it is smooth and no longer gritty.
In a cocktail shaker, combine the watermelon puree, the blanco tequila, the lime juice, the agave syrup, the Triple Sec, the cilantro and the salt, with ice and shake thoroughly for about 30 seconds. You want to slightly bruise the cilantro with the ice so that the cilantro flavor steeps into the drink.
Strain the drink and pour over fresh ice into your desired glass. Enjoy with your choice of garnish.
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