A Spicy Watermelon Margarita is the ultimate summer refreshment for happy hour! Made with fresh watermelon and jalapeño for a touch of subtle heat, you won’t be able to stop at just one. This recipe is easily scalable so you can make anywhere from 1 cocktail up to 8 cocktails!
about this spicy watermelon margarita
Watermelon is the ultimate summer refreshment, isn’t it? The sweetness, the juice dripping down your chin as you bite into a slice, the cold fruity flesh… It all screams sitting by the pool and cooling off on a hot summer day!
I wanted to capture that juicy refreshment in a cocktail, and my friends, this is the ultimate way to do that.
In every sip of this summer margarita, you get a big dose of watermelon fruitiness with a punch of tequila and a little touch of heat from some jalapeño.
I even added a chili salt rim that you can not only rim your cocktail glasses with, but you can also dip slices of watermelon in for a fun snack/garnish!
If you haven’t tried salt on watermelon yet, you just haven’t lived and the chili-salt combo takes it all to the next level of flavor!
Since you have to make your own watermelon juice for this recipe (don’t worry, it isn’t complicated!), you can either make yourself a cocktail and have enough to make more for a couple of days OR you can make enough for you and your friends!
It’s the best way to celebrate the last days of summer, sitting by the pool or on the patio, soaking up the sunshine!
watermelon – I use a whole seedless watermelon for this recipe to get all the watermelon juice I possibly can! You don’t have to worry about pretty cuts, just remove the skin and chop up the flesh into pieces that’ll fit in your blender or food processor. Pro Tip: Pick up an extra watermelon for snacking! It’s SO fun to dip wedges of watermelon in the chili-salt rim you make for the cocktail.
jalapeño – I leave my peppers whole and simply slice them to get just the right amount of heat. If you are more sensitive to heat, you can use just one slice per cocktail. If you like spice, use 2 to 3 slices per cocktail.
tequila – use a blanco or silver tequila for this recipe. I target a mid-range price point option like El Jimador or Dobel. You can use something more top shelf if you prefer like Patron.
lime – fresh lime juice is best, in my opinion! Just buy a bag of limes if you are making these for a party.
agave – the flavor that agave adds to this cocktail is SO good. You can also swap it out for honey or simple syrup, if you prefer.
salt – I like to use a finer salt for the rim since it’s getting mixed with chili powder. Just kosher salt will do!
chili powder – I like to use ancho chili powder because the flavor has a little extra smokiness. You can use your favorite chili powder!
this recipe’s must haves
To make the watermelon juice, you will need a blender, like a Vitamix, or food processor to break down the fruit into a puree. A fine mesh strainer also comes in handy to strain out the juice and separate the solids.
I picked up the coupe glasses you see here at IKEA, but you can use your favorite cocktail glass, whether that’s margarita glasses or rocks glasses.
here’s how to make a spicy watermelon margarita
make watermelon juice
Add the chopped watermelon to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and strain through a fine mesh sieve to separate out the solids.
Set aside the liquid and discard the pulp.
make rimming mixture
On a small rimmed plate, stir together salt and chili powder. Run a lime wedge around the rim of your cocktail glass. Roll the wet rim in the chili-salt mixture until coated. Set aside.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add in watermelon juice, tequila, lime juice, agave, and jalapeño slice(s).
Secure the top and shake well, about 30 seconds.
strain and finish
Fill your prepared cocktail glass with crushed ice and strain cocktail into the glass. Garnish as desired and serve.
tips for success
chill your tequila. One of my top tips for margaritas? Chill you tequila in the fridge! It’ll make your drink nice and chilled.
make it in bulk. Hosting a gathering? To make these in bulk (and use up all the watermelon juice), you can make up to 8 at a time. I recommend making the cocktail in batches of 2 at a time (this will fit most cocktail shakers!). You’ll need 4 oz watermelon juice, 4 oz tequila, 2 oz lime juice, 1 oz agave nectar, and 2-4 jalapeño slices for 2 cocktails.
how long can I store the leftover watermelon juice?
The leftover watermelon juice will last in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Be sure to store it in an airtight container!
can I make a spicy watermelon margarita without a cocktail shaker?
Of course you can! Not everyone owns a cocktail shaker, so if you don’t, you can still make this cocktail. You can use a mason jar just like a cocktail shaker! A protein shaker or sports water bottle works really well too – as long as you’ve cleaned it out well of course, haha.
Need some more inspiration for cocktail hour? Check out my cocktail recipes page!
what to serve with a spicy watermelon margarita
It’s hard not to celebrate with one of these spicy watermelon margaritas in your hand! It could be spicing up a Taco Tuesday, or perhaps you are hosting one last blowout before summer is over? Here’s some fun pairings to try out:
- For a party, I like to go with a classic like chunky salsa or dry rub wings that are always a hit.
- Taco Tuesday needs TACOS! These Instant Pot Chipotle Chicken Tacos are simple and oh-so flavorful. You can also fire up the grill for easy steak fajita foil packets!
- A sweet treat that is also margarita-theme are these shortbread margarita cookies. Sweet, a little salty, and packed with lime flavor!
how to store
Leftover watermelon juice can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days in the refrigerator!
If you want, you can make a bulk batch of this cocktail ahead of time and keep it in an airtight container for up to 2 days! Just be sure to store it without the ice so it doesn’t get watered down.
Finally, if you make this spicy watermelon margarita, please be sure to give this recipe a rating or leave a comment! I love to hear when you all make recipes, and I do take the time to respond to every single comment. Feel free to drop questions below too, if you have them!
Oh and be sure to tag me on Instagram if you make the recipe! Love being able to see these recipes come to live in your homes – it’s my favorite thing to look through those photos. It really means the world to me!
- 2 Tbsp kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp ancho chili powder
- Lime wedges
- 1 seedless watermelon, cubed (2 oz fresh watermelon juice per cocktail)
- 2 oz 100% agave silver or blanco tequila
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- 1/2 oz agave nectar (or simple syrup/honey)
- 1 to 2 jalapeño slices
- Optional garnish: watermelon wedges*, jalapeño slices
- To make the rimming mixture, add salt and chili powder to a small rimmed plate. Mix together until combined. Rub the rim of a cocktail glass with a lime wedge and roll through the rimming mixture. Set aside.
- To make the watermelon juice, add watermelon to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth then strain through a fine mesh sieve. Discard leftover solids.
- To make a margarita, fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add 2 oz watermelon juice, tequila, lime juice, agave, and jalapeño slice(s). Shake well, about 30 seconds.
- Fill rimmed cocktail glass with crushed ice.
- Strain cocktail into prepared glass and garnish as desired. Serve.
Hosting a gathering? To make these in bulk (and use up all the watermelon juice), you can make up to 8 at a time. I recommend making the cocktail in batches of 2 at a time (this will fit most cocktail shakers!). You’ll need 4 oz watermelon juice, 4 oz tequila, 2 oz lime juice, 1 oz agave nectar, and 2-4 jalapeño slices for 2 cocktails.
Want a fun garnish? Dip the watermelon wedges in any leftover rimming chili-salt!