I like to think that I’m a fairly easy person to get along with, if you can ignore the fact that I’m a stickler about some things: there is only one Texas Chainsaw Massacre, directed by Tobe Hooper in 1974; zombies are infinitely superior to vampires and no, I really will not read Twilight or those Sookie Stackhouse books; there are no Martinis made with vodka nor Manhattans made with bourbon, and Old Fashioneds should not have a fruit cup muddled in the bottom (cherry garnish optional). I’m sure some people will disagree with me, but in the World According to Marleigh that is just how we roll.
There is an exception to my obsessive (and probably annoying) pedantic enthusiasm for classic cocktails, and that is the Margarita. Make no mistake—I have very specific requirements for what I call a Margarita, and they entail fresh lime juice, tequila and Cointreau, shaken, on the rocks, with salt. The Margarita is such a simple, straightforward and frankly awesome drink all on its own, though, that it’s hard not to want to toss in some other flavors just to gild the lily a little bit. Such was my reaction when I found a recipe for watermelon margaritas that was just itching to be batched up for a party. Watermelon and tequila are two great tastes that go great together, so why not dare a little in front of company?
4 cups watermelon, cubed
½ cup fresh lime juice
¼-½ cup triple sec or Cointreau
1 cup blanco (silver) tequila
Purée the 4 cups of watermelon in a blender until smooth, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve placed over a bowl. Use a spoon to press on the solids and make sure you get all the juice passed through into the bowl—you should have about 2 cups worth.
In a pitcher, stir together the watermelon and lime juices, triple sec and tequila until thoroughly combined. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to use, and serve on the rocks in salt-rimmed glasses. Serves 8.
Even though it sounds like a bit of work, this couldn’t be simpler. Chopping and blending the watermelon is the most involved step, but doesn’t take more than ten minutes from start to finish. It may take a little bit of tasting to figure out how much triple sec to use—I used a triple sec here instead of Cointreau, though either will taste fine—but some liqueurs are sweeter than others, so it’s better to start with a quarter cup and add more if needed. Watermelon juice isn’t as sweet as you might think, but going easy on the sweetener here will allow the full tequila and watermelon flavors come through. No matter how you make them, a batch of these has a delightful summery flavor that is perfect for sipping by the pool—watermelon slices on the side optional. ¡Salud!