Speeeeaking of Summer Cooking Bucket Lists – Watermelon Jalepeño Margaritas need to be placed at the very tip top of yours ASAP!
As I mentioned last week, we got our first watermelon of the season at Costco recently, thus it was the size of Cameron’s torso, thus we had…a LOT. The kids would eat watermelon with every meal and snack of the day (I think we’re up to 6? maybe, 7 snack breaks a day? Kidding…ish) but I don’t know, that seems like a lot of watermelon. So, I started thinking about what pairs well with its super sweet flavor and something spicy came to mind: JALAPEÑO. Oooo, I thought, what if we added TEQUILA?! Ding, ding, ding, we had a winner! This incredibly easy cocktail recipe tastes like a spicy watermelon jolly rancher in the best possible way, and is perfect for hot summer nights (or days – hey, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!)
Watermelon Jalapeño Margaritas are a refreshing combo of spicy, tart, and sweet, plus they’re absolutely gorgeous. Even this black-and-grey-all-day-wearing-Mama could get down with a Watermelon Jalapeño Margarita-hued beach towel, at the very least. Maybe a manicure? PARTY NAIL, Y’ALL! Just kidding, my nails chip just thinking about them. We’ll stick with the beach towel.
Anyway, I made one of these margaritas last week for my evening porch sitting session and Ben was intrigued enough by the jalapeño slices stuffed inside to request a sip. He liked it enough to accept a full sized drink then (it may have been the work-related happy hour he’d just returned home from talking) declared it the best drink he’s ever had. Woah! High praise from a man who usually only drinks whiskey neat and gin stirred (not shaken) with olives!
All that to say these drinks are THE BOMB. Not too sweet, welcomingly tart, and a spice level that you can adjust to your tastes. I love that these margaritas are made with simple, everyday ingredients – no liquors required. All you need is fresh watermelon, lime, tequila, and jalapeño-infused simple syrup, which is just sugar, water, and a jalapeño simmered together for 2 minutes. In the summertime we almost always have all these ingredients in the house, and these drinks come together quickly.
Grab a deck chair and let’s do this!
How to Make Watermelon Jalapeño Margaritas
Start by making the Jalapeño Simple Syrup which gives these drinks some sweet heat. The margarita recipe I’m sharing is for 1 drink, but the syrup will make enough for approximately 8 drinks, as this stuff keeps in the fridge for several weeks.
Add 1/2 cup each water and sugar to a small saucepan then, if you want the margaritas on the less spicy side, remove the ribs and seeds from 1 jalapeño and add to the pan. If you want the margaritas really spicy, slice the jalapeño then add, seeds and all, into the pan.
Simmer until the sugar has dissolved then let the syrup cool off the heat. Strain the jalapeño simple syrup into a mason jar or container then refrigerate.
Next, blend or use a juicer to make fresh watermelon juice. You’ll need 2oz (1/4 cup) watermelon juice per margarita. FYI, in my experience testing this recipe, chopped watermelon will lose approximitely 1/2 cup in volume after being blended, ie 2 cups chopped watermelon will yield 1-1/2 cups watermelon juice.
Strain the watermelon juice into a container through a fine mesh sieve then refrigerate. Technically watermelon juice can stay fresh up to 5 days in the fridge, though it separates which makes me feel weird, so I like to blend/strain/use fresh.
It’s drinkin’ time! To make 1 margarita, add 2oz each watermelon juice and silver tequila, and 1oz each fresh lime juice and Jalapeño Simple Syrup into a rocks or cocktail glass then stir to combine and add ice. Alternatively you could add the ingredients into a shaker, fill with ice, and shake to chill. Stuff a fresh jalapeño slice or 17 inside then you’re off to the races. I hope you LOVE this easy, spicy, sweet margarita recipe – cheers!
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Watermelon Jalapeño Margaritas
Watermelon Jalapeño Margaritas are super easy with no special liquors required, tongue tingling, and incredibly refreshing. The perfect summer cocktail!
- 2oz (1/4 cup) watermelon juice
- 2oz (1/4 cup) silver tequila
- 1oz (2 Tablespoons) fresh lime juice (~1/2 lime)
- 1oz (2 Tablespoons) Jalapeno Simple Syrup
- fresh jalapeno slices
- For the Jalapeno Simple Syrup:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 jalapeno
- For the Jalapeno Simple Syrup: Add sugar and water to a small saucepan. For a less spicy syrup, remove ribs and seeds from jalapeno then add to the saucepan. For a more spicy syrup, slice jalapeno then add - seeds and all - to the saucepan. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, then cook until sugar is dissolved, 1-2 minutes. Remove pan from heat then let cool - the longer the jalapeno stays in the syrup, the spicier it will be. Strain syrup through a fine mesh sieve into a mason jar or container then chill. Can be done several days ahead of time.
- Add watermelon juice, tequila, lime juice, and jalapeno simple syrup to a rocks or cocktail glass then stir to combine. Fill glass to the top with ice then serve with fresh jalapeno slices. Alternatively you could add the ingredients into a shaker, fill it halfway up with ice, then shake to chill.
- Watermelon juice is simply blended or juiced watermelon that's been strained through a fine mesh sieve. Plan on roughly 1/2 cup volume loss when blending or juicing (ie, 2 cups chopped watermelon will give you approximately 1-1/2 cups watermelon juice.) I recommend making the watermelon juice no more then a few hours ahead of time.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.