Spicy Watermelon Cilantro Margarita

This recipe comes from Karen Cuda, our guest bartender for the “Taco Night” category of this blog. Karen lives in Denver, Colorado (where I was born and raised), and she bartends at several places there. She was kind enough to brush off her recipe book during quarantine and give me permission to share her concoctions with my readers. Thank you Karen!

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. 100% agave tequila (I prefer a reposado or anejo for a richer flavor)
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 2 oz. fresh watermelon juice (Simply brand works well too,but is generally a bit sweeter, so add a tad more lime juice to offset it)
  • 1 oz. jalapeno simple syrup
  • small bunch of cilantro, torn

Instructions

Put all ingredients in shaker, add ice, shake vigorously (think about extracting all that delicious flavor from the cilantro), strain and serve up or on the rocks.

Strain, pour over ice.  You can rim the glass with kosher salt or sugar, but it’s optional. Garnish with cilantro sprig, lime wedge (or twist), and watermelon wedge or a curl of rind if you wanna get fancy. 

Note: This recipe would also work well with vodka, though it would have a little less of the “cedary richness” to it that the tequila will provide.  Fresh strawberries or other berries can be used to substitute for the watermelon juice. In that event take a small handful (maybe 1/3 c.) of the fruit – chopped, and muddle it first in the bottom of the shaker before adding ice and other ingredients. Depending on the sweetness level of fruit, you may need to use the sweet/tart balancing tip of adding more acid or sweet to taste.

Bartender’s Pro-Tip

Tastes differ on the sweetness of cocktails so a tip to tweak it to taste is: if it’s too sweet, add more lime juice, if it’s too tart add more simple syrup, being modest with additions to taste.

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