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Watermelon mint margarita

2013 July 2


It’s not even watermelon season here in the Midwest yet, but I’m already on a watermelon kick. I love its refreshing, juicy sweetness: neither cloying nor weak. Just right.  (And yes, locavores, I’m busted: they’re not local watermelons, which are still several weeks away.)

With a long holiday weekend ahead, and sweltering July temps not far behind, cool, thirst-quenching libations are the order of the day. Sweet watermelon, crisp cucumbers, and zippy mint work and play exceeding well together with margarita ingredients (hello, tequila). I predict this watermelon cocktail — and the virgin version, with an extra squeeze of orange — will be a hit at my 4th of July party (fingers crossed).


Happy Independence Day, Everyone! May you spend the day with your most cherished loved ones, celebrating with joy and gratitude for the freedoms and protections we enjoy in this beautiful, diversified country we call our own.

Watermelon mint margarita

inspired by this recipe


  • 4 heaping cups watermelon cut into chunks (about 1/4 of a small-medium seedless watermelon)
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 sprigs of mints, leaves only (12-16 leaves)
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 1 cup silver tequila
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  • 2 cups ice


  1. Place the watermelon, cucumber, mint, lime juice, and sugar in the jar of a blender and puree. Pour through a sieve to remove solids (use a spatula to push the mixture through, if necessary).
  2. Return the mixture to the blender jar. Add the liquors and ice, and blend until thick and creamy. Serve immediately.
  3. Do ahead: prepare the mixture in step one and refrigerate until needed. Continue with step two and serve.
Prep Time: 10 minutes       Yield: 4 servings


7 Responses
  1. Darlynne permalink
    July 2, 2013

    I was just experimenting with watermelon sorbet and granita last weekend, with wonderful and flavorful results. My concern was avoiding the nearly-tasteless juice served at a hotel once upon a time, so I was completely delighted with just how great watermelon can be when done correctly. Your recipe makes me feel cooler already.

    Here’s to the Fourth (technically, the second of July for the actual signing) and those brilliant, crazy subversives who said “We can do better.”

    • Karen @ Leaf & Grain permalink*
      July 2, 2013

      I feel guilty that I’ve neglected watermelon all these years – it really is awesome in so many things.

  2. July 2, 2013

    This looks super refreshing! I love adding mint to drinks and mixed beverages in the summer…it just seems even more refreshing!

    • Karen @ Leaf & Grain permalink*
      July 2, 2013

      My mint is going wild. It’s so crisp and beautiful this year – it makes everything taste better!

  3. July 2, 2013

    If summer ever rears its head here, this will have to be on the docket. I usually have rum or vodka with my watermelon/ basil concoction (aka freeze watermelon and throw something, something, something in the blender with it), but am digging on this margarita version.

    Have a great holiday!

    • Karen @ Leaf & Grain permalink*
      July 2, 2013

      Oh, lordy … watermelon, basil and rum … that will be happening this weekend. I almost used basil instead of mint (I have a ton of both this year), but went with mint for the margarita. But rum and basil … oh, my, yes. Thank you. :)

  4. July 18, 2013

    Use a mortar and pestle to mash the mint leaves. Remove and discard the rind and seeds of the watermelon. Put the fruit into a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree. Put the mashed mint into a large pitcher with 2 cups of pureed watermelon, the rum, simple syrup , and lime juice and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into a pitcher for serving.

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