Spicy Watermelon Margarita

About this recipe:

Hey there! I’ve just kicked off my new Substack, “Carmen in the Garden.” It’s a space where you can dive into all things gardening and also get a glimpse into who I am. And just before we roll into the Labor Day Weekend, I thought of sharing a little something special. Remember the spicy paloma I whipped up a few years ago when I started exploring recipe writing? Drawing from that inspiration, I’ve created a spicy watermelon margarita. It’s the classic margarita you love, but with a hint of spice from habanero-infused simple syrup. If you’re not big on the heat, adjust it to your liking or pick a different pepper.

I used fresh watermelon juice, straight from my garden. But hey, store-bought works just fine too. As for the rim, I’m a half-salt kind of person, but you can switch it up with sugar, chili powder, or even a sprinkle of tajin.

Here’s to enjoying the last few moments of summer. Cheers!

Watch me make this recipe:

@carmeninthegarden Carmen in the Garden is now on Substack! šŸŽ‰ Go subscribe theough the link in my bio šŸ”— Iā€™m celebrating with a spicy watermelon margarita from the garden. Cheers!! #garden #cocktail ā™¬ original sound – Carmen in the Garden

How to make this recipe:

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Spicy Watermelon Margarita

  • Author: carmeninthegarden


An enticing blend of sweet, sour, and spicy, this margarita is perfect for those who want to add a little kick to their sip. The fresh watermelon juice pairs wonderfully with the heat from the habanero, making it a refreshing drink for warm days or relaxing evenings.



For the margarita:

  • 2 oz blanco tequila
  • 1 oz Cointreau (or any orange liqueur)
  • 1 oz habanero simple syrup
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 3 oz fresh watermelon juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Kosher salt for rimming (optional)
  • Lime wedge, for garnish

For the spicy simple syrup:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 2 habanero peppers, sliced

To make watermelon juice:

  • 1 small or medium sized watermelon


To make the spicy simple syrup:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add the sliced habanero to the pan and let it steep for about 10 minutes. For a spicier syrup, you can increase the steeping time.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. Strain out the habanero slices and store the syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

To make the watermelon juice:

  1. Cut the watermelon into large chunks, compost the rind.
  2. In a blender, blend the watermelon chunks until smooth.
  3. Over a bowl or pitcher, strain the blended watermelon through a fine mesh strainer to remove any seeds and pulp. Press gently with a spatula to extract as much juice as possible.
  4. Store the juice in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To make the margarita:

  1. Prep the Glass: Wet the rim of the glass with a lime wedge. Dip half the rim into kosher salt and set aside.
  2. Mix the Drink: In a shaker, combine blanco tequila, Cointreau, habanero simple syrup, lime juice, and watermelon juice. Fill with ice and shake until combined.
  3. Serve: Strain the mixture into the prepared glass filled with ice.
  4. Garnish: Add a lime wedge to the side or atop the drink.
  5. Enjoy!

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