It’s Thirsty Thursday!
Fresh Watermelon Margarita with Jalapeño-Lime Sorbet
I love watermelon – the real deal, not the hot pink fake flavoring found in everything from gum to toothpaste (gross, right?). If I want a watermelon-flavored something, I need to figure out how to use actual fruit to get there. Watermelon pucker in a drink? No way, José. It’s gotta be made with the sweet, crunchy, fresh flavored real stuff.
When one of my best friends (and fellow foodie) got married in 2005, I dreamt up a few cocktails for her bachelorette party (well, the pre-party to the party). One was a Fresh Watermelon Margarita and the other I call Thai Coco-Cocktail. The latter involves lemon grass-infused syrup and will probably be a Thirsty Thursday drink one of these days. Whenever I make a watermelon margarita, I still think of Daniella and all our crazy times over the years. We’re all grown-up now with different kinds of crazy going on (houses, babies, jobs). In honor of our grown-up-post-graduate-school-selves, I thought the Watermelon Margarita I served 5 years ago needed some growing up too. I could’ve just added more tequila but that wouldn’t be fun enough so I added jalapeño! Actually, jalapeño-lime sorbet. It’s the perfect cool (yet warm!) addition. I don’t really dig on frozen drinks of any kind so I rely on ice to keep my drinks cold. The sorbet is a built-in chiller full of flavor. Who needs wimpy ice whirred in a blender?!
I served this grown-up version at my Fire & Ice Cooking Club in August. No need for such a theme… Go grab up a watermelon and a jalapeño then get yourself some tequila!
(Original recipe from the 2005 bachelorette party)
1 part tequila
2 parts watermelon puree*
½ part triple sec
½ part lime juice
½ part simple syrup**
Margarita salt & lime wedge (optional)
Equipment: Martini shaker (aka a Boston shaker)
Add some ice to your margarita glass and set aside to chill. Add more ice to your martini shaker along with all the ingredients. Shake vigorously for 30 – 60 seconds. Dump the ice out of your glass. If you like salt, run the lime wedge along the edge of the glass to get it wet. Roll the edge of the glass in the margarita salt. Strain your margarita into your glass and enjoy!
. . .
Grown-up Watermelon Margarita
(Slightly modified version due to the sweetness & acidity that will be added from the sorbet)
1 part tequila
2 parts watermelon puree or juice*
½ part triple sec
Jalapeño-Lime Sorbet (recipe below)
Margarita salt (optional)
Equipment: Martini shaker
Add some ice to your margarita glass and set aside to chill. Add more ice to your martini shaker along with the tequila, watermelon juice, and triple sec. Shake vigorously for 30 – 60 seconds. Dump the ice out of your glass. If you like salt, run the lime wedge along the edge of the glass to get it wet then roll the edge of the glass in the margarita salt. Add a scoop of Jalapeño-Lime Sorbet to the bottom of your glass. Strain your margarita into your glass and enjoy!
. . .
Makes enough for 10 – 15 drinks depending on your scoop size
1 cup sugar
1 tbl lime zest
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely minced (if you don’t want it spicy, just leave this out)
½ tsp salt
1½ cups water, at warm room temp
½ cup fresh lime juice (5 or 6 limes)
1 tbl vodka (or tequila)
Equipment: Ice cream/sorbet maker***
Stir all ingredients together until the sugar is dissolved. Chill the liquid mixture in the fridge for 30 – 45 minutes. With the ice cream maker running (and following any other instructions specific to your machine), pour the liquid into the machine and let it churn until it resembles a thick, smooth slush. Place the sorbet into an air tight container with plastic wrap pressed against its surface (and the container’s lid on as well). Remove from the freezer about 5 minutes before you want to use it. If you can’t wait, microwave on defrost for 30 seconds. Scoop away!
* Watermelon puree/juice – I used watermelon juice leftover from cut up watermelon. It’s a great way to use up all that flavorful liquid that seeps out of the fruit. Alternatively, you could puree some watermelon and use that. If you get any watermelon foam (it happens!), scoop it off and use the remaining juicy puree. And as one final alternative, you can freeze chunks of actual watermelon or the juice and make a blender-friendly frozen version.
** simple syrup – Boil ½ cup water with ½ sugar until sugar is melted and the mixture is syrupy. Cool and store in the fridge (for weeks!) for all kinds of uses (mainly adult beverage uses J)
*** No ice cream maker? Do not fret! You have two options: 1) make the same mixture and freeze it in ice cube trays. Then you can either use the flavored ice to shake up your drink and serve it with OR make a frozen margarita with the flavored ice. Or 2) make a granite with the mixture. Pour the cooled mixture into a shallow dish and chill in the freezer for an hour. Use 2 forks to scrape the semi-frozen mixture into little ice shavings. Freeze for another 2 – 3 hours, scraping the mixture every hour or so. When you’re ready to serve, scrape it all up again into a pile of pretty, sparkling, speckled shavings.