This is one of those great recipes that is easily adaptable and open to an endless number of variations. You could freeze the margaritas and then scrape them into a bowl as a flavoured ice like a granita or you could just freeze the watermelon and break it up making it a substitution for the ice found in typical margaritas. Regardless of the style or the fruit combination the margarita is an instant favorite and is sure to be a hit at any festivity. This recipe was featured in the Stay Cool collection at The Kitchn.

Fernando Botero, Still Life with Watermelon, 1992
oil on canvas, 95 x 116 cm

Fernando Botero is a Colombian artist who gave himself the title “most Colombian of Colombian artists.” Botero is primarily known for his portraits and for the exaggerated the proportions of his subjects. His ‘large people’, deemed obese by critics, are very round and seem to be composed of several bulbous spheres stacked upon one another (1). In the still-life above, the subject material consisting of oranges, a watermelon, and a kettle all assume a similar bulging appearance. I would think it would be hard to make an orange look fat but by slicing it near the top it appears the symmetry is off kilter and the fruit looks like it is bursting with juice.

The margarita is the most common and popular tequila-based cocktail. Traditionally the tequila is mixed with triple sec and lime juice with the ratio at 2:1:1. Served on the rocks or with ground ice, the drink would not be complete without the salt rim (made special in my recipe with the addition of lime flavouring). As with many origin stories regarding food there are several accounts detailing how the margarita was developed. I like to imagine the inventor is Danny Negrete who allegedly in 1936 made the drink as a wedding gift for his sister-in-law Margarita (2). What a fun and delicious gift!

{Frozen Watermelon Margarita}

In the freezer, watermelon margaritas will keep for 2 to 3 weeks. The recipe can be easily adapted for children by omitting the tequila and makes for a refreshing drink/dessert on balmy summer nights. Delicious when paired with spicy dishes such as the chipotle chicken enchiladas.

adapted from Gourmet
Yield: 6 servings

1 large watermelon
5 limes
1 cup tequila
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lime salt (recipe below)
lime zest for garnish

Cut the pink flesh of the watermelon into 1-inch cubes. Place in a large bowl and using a hand blender, puree the watermelon. Add the juice of 4 limes, the tequila and sugar to the pureed watermelon and stir well. Transfer the mixture to a freezer safe container and place in the freezer until solid. Freezing times will vary depending on the container and appliance but generally it will take 3 to 4 hours.

Cut the one remaining lime into wedges and rub the wedge around the rim of the serving glasses. On a small plate, evenly distribute the 2 tablespoons of lime salt. Press the rims of the glasses into the lime salt and set aside. Remove the frozen watermelon margaritas from the refrigerator and scrape 1/4 to 1/3 cup servings into each salt-prepared glass. Serve the watermelon margaritas as a solid or let thaw slightly and serve as a slush. Garnish with peels of lime zest.

{Lime Salt}

1/4 cup salt
1 teaspoon lime zest

Add the salt and lime zest into a mortar, grind with a pestle until a paste forms. Spread evenly over a large plate and let sit until dry, 3 to 4 hours. Use as a finishing salt with your favorite dishes. Perfect with fish and seafood, store in a small airtight jar.