Recipes Drinks Cocktails Margaritas

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.

Watermelon margarita recipe
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.)

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
Leela Cyd Ross

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.

More Summery Cocktails!

Watermelon Pitcher Margaritas
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 5 to 6 servings
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.) VARIATIONS: 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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  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
    Leela Cyd Ross
  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
    Leela Cyd Ross
  4. Serve and garnish:

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

    Watermelon margarita recipe
    Leela Cyd Ross