Mixing cocktails may seem intimidating, but it’s actually quite intuitive once you understand how to balance the alcohol, sweetness and acidity. This version uses fresh watermelon juice — a sweet but subtle nod to summer. Be sure 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.
Salted Rim Ingredients:
• 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
• 1 teaspoon Tajín or 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne (optional)
• Ice, as needed
• 6 ounces fresh watermelon juice (from about 1 1/2 cups chopped seedless watermelon, blended and strained)
• 2 ounces tequila, preferably blanco
• 2 ounces Cointreau(optional)
• 2 ounces fresh lime juice (from 1-2 large limes), rinds reserved
• 2-3 jalapeño rounds, thinly sliced (optional)
How to prepare the salted rim, if using: In a small shallow bowl or plate, combine the sea salt and Tajín or ground cayenne. Set aside.
To make the drink: In a shaker filled with ice, combine the watermelon juice, tequila, Cointreau (if using), lime juice and jalapeño (if using).
Shake well to combine all ingredients.
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 rocks glasses, then dip the rims into the salt mixture.
Fill the glasses with ice, then strain the margaritas into the glasses and enjoy immediately.
Total time: 5 minutes, serves 2.