Fourth of July

Hello Summer Cocktail

July  8, 2015
7 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Makes 1
Author Notes

The weeks surrounding the 4th of July feel to me like the pinnacle of summer, days well spent with friends and restful moments lounging poolside or in a hammock with a book, always with something delicious within reach. Specifically, a cocktail like this one that is as bright and beautiful as it is light and refreshing, a lovely way to bask in the season. I love the way the Lillet Blanc softens the tequila and rounds out the sweetness of the watermelon juice while still capturing the peppery citrus in the cilantro. Purée a batch of watermelon juice and freeze it for your next get together. —Chase the Flavors

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Chase the Flavors is a food-and-design loving blogger based in the Midwest.
WHAT: A sweet, bright cocktail that really does taste like summer.
HOW: Muddle cilantro and lime and then shake them together with fresh watermelon juice, tequila, and Lillet Blanc. Drink it from a frosty glass with a salty, spicy rim—preferably by the pool.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Light and bright and refreshing, this cocktail combines so many of our favorite summer flavors: cilantro, watermelon, lime, tequila, chili powder. It's a little like a spicy watermelon margarita—but with a welcome roundness from the floral Lillet Blanc. We'll be slurping them down until August. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 5 sprigs cilantro
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 2 ounces watermelon juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces tequila (100% agave)
  • 1 ounce Lillet Blanc
  • 1/4 ounce agave nectar
  • Dash salt
  • Salt, freshly ground black pepper, and chili powder for the rims
  • Additional cilantro for garnish
  1. For the watermelon juice, use a seedless watermelon or remove any seeds before processing. Simply purée watermelon chunks in a food processor or blender until smooth. The juice will be textured and will naturally separate. I prefer the texture, but you can strain out the solids if desired. Make a quart or two of watermelon juice to keep in the refrigerator for agua frescas. Use the juice within a few days or freeze for future drinks.
  2. Find your favorite rocks glass or any kind of small tumbler. Wet the rim of your glass with water (or lime juice) and then salt the rim by dipping it into a small plate of salt sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper and chili powder. Fill the glass with ice and set aside.
  3. Place cilantro sprigs and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Muddle the cilantro to release the oils then add watermelon juice, tequila, Lillet Blanc, agave nectar, and a dash of salt. Add a scoop of ice, then shake the cocktail vigorously for at least a minute. Strain into your prepared glass and garnish with a sprig of cilantro.
  4. You can add a dash of salt to balance out the cocktail and spice up the salted rim with a little more chili powder and black pepper.
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9 Reviews

lynx60489 August 12, 2015
I so appreciate the fast response! I can't wait to make this for a cocktail party tomorrow night.
Chase T. August 12, 2015
You're very welcome, lynx60489. I'd love to hear how it turns out! Also, I love this article from The Kitchn on making classic cocktails in batches:
lynx60489 August 17, 2015
What a huge hit! I made a big pitcher (30 drinks) that were gone within an hour. I forgot to buy agave so I made a simple syrup with coconut sugar that worked really well. I was also only able to add Lillet Blanc to the second pitcher. I thought the drink was fantastic with or without it. This is definitely going to be a summer party staple.
lynx60489 August 12, 2015
Can you make a big batch of these to serve in a pitcher?
Chase T. August 12, 2015
Hi there, lynx60489. Definitely! Once you've decided how many drinks you'd like to serve (say 10 in a pitcher) just multiply the ingredients accordingly, but make a few changes to the preparation. I would whisk together the agave nectar and lime juice in the pitcher, then add the cilantro and muddle those three ingredients together. Next, add in the watermelon juice, tequila, Lillet Blanc and a few scoops of ice. Remove the cilantro sprigs, give it a good stir and serve. Have guests pour the drink into their ice-filled glasses (with the rims adorned if they like) and add cilantro for garnish.
savorthis August 7, 2015
What a delicious looking pairing!
Chase T. August 8, 2015
Thank you so much, savorthis! :)
AntoniaJames August 6, 2015
Whoa! Bring it on. Love this. Congrats on being chosen a finalist! ;o)
Chase T. August 6, 2015
Thank you, AntoniaJames! Cheers :)