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
Salt, freshly ground black pepper, and chili powder for the rims
Additional cilantro for garnish
In This Recipe
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.
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.
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.
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.