Sarah and Dulcie's seasonal recipes don't stop at fork-friendly foods on their Two Tarts blog. In their new column, Locally Mixed, they expand on their interest in scratch-made sippables, and prove that cocktails are just as deserving of fresh, local flavors.
This week, Sarah and Dulcie create fresh-squeezed (and spicy!) watermelon margaritas.
This watermelon-jalapeño cocktail is like a traditional lime cocktail turned extra summery and fresh. We added sweet, mild watermelon juice to the usual lime and tequila, then added a tiny splash of fresh jalapeño juice to the mix to keep things from getting too mellow. The balance and combination of flavors here is perfect for summertime barbecues -- which is where we enjoyed ours. It easily multiplies to make a pitcherful, so friends can serve themselves in tall salt-rimmed glasses full of ice.
Fresh watermelon is the quintessence of summer, and we've been excited to use it in a cocktail. One of the Two Tarts is lucky enough to own a fancy juicer (the Breville Juice Fountain Elite, if you must know), which has been an unforseen boon to our cocktail making. The ability to juice just about anything that's fresh and in season opens up so many interesting options for adding a fresh, seasonal twist to cocktails. So, of course, we started by juicing an entire watermelon, and coming up with nearly a gallon of hot pink juice!
Next, we decided to see what would happen if we juiced a couple of fresh jalapeños. The results were pretty cool: a tiny vial of neon green juice with an intensely green spiciness. This jalapeño juice is a totally different animal from the flavorless spice of an infused vodka because it is so incredibly fresh tasting. It's not just spicy, but bright and green and herbal. The perfect thing to add -- drip by drip -- to give a traditional cocktail a new dimension.
The final result is a margarita with layers of interesting flavor. First is the gentle sweetness of the watermelon, followed by the punch of tequila and tangy lime. The finish is a slow, slight creep of heat that is interesting but not overwhelming.
Note: Every jalapeño is different -- some are spicy; some, not so much. When creating this drink we added the jalapeño juice slowly, drop by drop, until we reached a level of spiciness that suited us. We recommend you taste as you go, too, in case you happened to pick up a couple of super hot jalapeños!
Watermelon Jalapeño Margaritas
Makes 2 cocktails
4 ounces watermelon juice
4 ounces tequila
1 ounce lime juice
1 ounce triple sec
1 teaspoon jalapeño juice
1 cup ice
1 tablespoon coarse salt
Like this post? See Sarah and Dulcie's previous topic: Roasted Strawberry, Gin & Ginger Cocktail.
All photos by Sarah Welle and Dulcie Wilcox.
Sarah and Dulcie run the blog Two Tarts, which specializes in delicious recipes and cocktails using local and seasonal ingredients.