Watermelon Pitcher Margaritas


Watermelon is so refreshing when it's hot, but making margaritas out of it (enough for a crowd!) changes the drink entirely. Watermelon adds fruity sweetness and gives you another excuse for buying an entire watermelon.

Photography Credit: Leela Cyd Ross

When it comes to cocktails, the situation dictates the drink. If you’re having a swanky steak dinner, then that’s a martini sort of meal.

Headed to a picnic and Shakespeare in the Park? That begs for the boozy Pomegranate Paloma, swigged from a flask. (Assuming you’re seeing a comedy. If it’s a tragedy, go with something bitter, such as a Dark and Stormy.)

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But if the weather is sporting triple digits and I’m floating on a raft in the pool, then it’s time to go for something juicier and far more thirst quenching. Enter the watermelon margarita.

Watermelon margaritas for a crowd

For the most part, this is a classic margarita with a skosh more tequila and a lot of fresh watermelon. The resulting cocktail is fruiter than the original and its strength will sneak up on you, but in this case I’ll call that a good thing.

  • Want to know the best tequila to buy? Check out our Tequila Guide!

This is also a margarita that I encourage you to have with salt, even if you normally don’t care for it. It adds a necessary bit of balance to all the sweetness.



Watermelon Pitcher Margaritas Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 5 to 6 cocktails

Buy tequila that has been aged for two months and is marked "100% de agave.” Tequilas that aren’t labeled with this are usually cut with fermented cane juice, resulting in a lower quality tequila. (Check out our Tequila Guide for more info.)


  • Swap out tequila for mezcal, tequila’s smokier, wilder cousin.
  • For a frosty, thicker treat, freeze the watermelon before throwing it in the blender and skip the strainer.


  • 1 1/2 cups tequila blanco (also called plato or silver tequila)
  • 1/2 cup orange liqueur, such as Triple Sec or Cointreau
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 4 cups chopped seedless watermelon
  • Simple syrup or agave nectar, if needed to sweeten
  • Kosher or other high quality salt, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for garnish


1 Blend the ingredients: Place tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and seedless watermelon in a blender and give ’em a good whirl. (You may have to do it in two batches depending on the size of your blender.)

Note: If you happen have a juicer, simply juice the watermelon and stir it with the other ingredients in a pitcher.

2 Strain out the watermelon solids: Pour the ingredients through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher, pressing the solids to get as much liquid out as you can.

Watermelon margarita for a crowd strain the puree

3 Prep the glasses: Assuming you imbibe with flair, take a small plate or bowl and fill it with the salt. Next, rub the rim of a cocktail or coupe glass (or a canning jar) with a wedge of a wedge of lime. Dip the glass into the salt and give it a small turn or two.

Watermelon margarita recipe prep the glasses

4 Serve and garnish: Pour the cocktail into the prepared glasses and garnish with a lime wedge.

Watermelon margarita recipe

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Garrett McCord

Garrett McCord is a professional writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in many print and online publications such as Gourmet Live, Saveur, Huffington Post, Smithsonian, and NPR. Past clients also include numerous food companies, wineries, and distilleries. Garrett writes about cocktails on his website, Coupe de Grace.

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2 Comments / Reviews

No ImageWatermelon Pitcher Margaritas

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Angie

    THis was amazing!!


  2. Tina

    These are refreshing, delicious and extremely easy to make! I used the 1800 Silver Tequila and ended up making 3 recipes (we had an all day pool party). Followed the recipe exactly and added just a splash of simple syrup to each serving as we poured them…I actually don’t like my drinks to be overly sweet but did feel like they needed just a touch of the simple syrup. Several guests requested that we make these again for our next pool party. This is our new go-to summer cocktail!


Watermelon margaritas for a crowdWatermelon Pitcher Margaritas