Latin Twist: Watermelon Margaritas


Last week I saw gorgeous round, light and dark green melons at the New Rochelle Farmer’s market. The vendor caught my eye, “Very sweet!” he smiled. That’s all I needed to hear…I had plans for my melon: Watermelon Margaritas!

The Mexican artist Frida Kahlo once said, “Fruits are like flowers: they speak a provocative language and teach us things that are hidden.” The watermelon—fresh, pink, and dotted with small black seeds—which played a starring role in several of her paintings, is loved throughout Mexico as well as many other Latin American countries. This gorgeous margarita is a great complement to any treat you serve with it.

Watermelon Margaritas

Watermelon Margaritas

Adapted from Mambo Mixers,©2005, Arlen Gargagliano. (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) (photo by Dasha Wright)


  • Serves 2
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 1 lime wedge, plus 2 half-moon lime slices for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt (for glass rim--optional)
  • 3 1/2 ounces tequila (more or less...depending your taste!)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced and seeded watermelon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Cointreau
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons superfine sugar, or to taste
  • 1 cup ice


  1. Rub the rim of two chilled margarita or cocktail glasses with a wedge of lime. Pour the salt onto a plate, and press the rim of the glass into it, turning gently until the rim is evenly coated. Shake off excess. Combine all ingredients (except the lime wedge and garnish) in a blender. Process until smooth. Pour into the prepared glass, garnish with the lime slices, and serve.


About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

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