My favourite thing to eat as a child was watermelon. I was plum crazy for the stuff but it had to meet certain conditions. It had to be ice-cold. It had to be sliced into half moons. It had to be eaten so the juice would drip over everything and therefore it had to be eaten outdoors (also convenient for spitting out the seeds). We even used to take watermelons to the beach and keep them cool by submerging them in the water somewhere shady – this also worked well with nectarines. Watermelons eaten on a beach were invariably flavoured with sea salt – an early intro to the sweet-salty food combo that works so well.
The thing I discovered as adult is that there’s one thing even more refreshing than cold watermelon and that’s watermelon margaritas. I made pitchers of watermelon margaritas during our Greek summer vacation last year and I hope to continue the tradition when we visit again in August. The flavour of watermelon margaritas depends rather heavily on how flavourful the watermelon is – generally the darker the flesh the sweeter the fruit. I added some hibiscus tea (also picked up in Greece) to this blend to intensify both the colour and taste of the cocktail.
Watermelon Hibiscus Margarita
Make a small pot of hibiscus tea well in advance to give it a chance to cool down before storing in the fridge.
120ml 120 ml | 4fl oz fresh watermelon juice
120 ml | 4fl oz silver tequila
60ml | 2fl oz triple sec
60ml cold hibiscus tea
30ml | 1fl oz fresh lime juice
1-2 tsp grenadine
cubes of watermelon to decorate
juice of 1 lime and sea salt to rim the glasses
- Fill one shallow plate with lime juice and one with fine sea salt. Dip two margarita glasses into the lime juice and then into the salt to frost.
- Cube 250g (8.8oz) fresh watermelon and remove the seeds. Blend in a Vitamix or food processor then strain the juice through a fine mesh and reserve.
- Put all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and add plenty of ice. Shake for 30 seconds and pour into the prepared glasses. Decorate with watermelon cubes threaded onto cocktail sticks.