A fruity, summery twist on a classic drink, this Spicy Watermelon Margarita kicks up the heat and flavor a notch with strawberries and jalapeno-infused tequila!
Those dog days of summer arrived long ago, and they’re showing no signs of any chill.
How do we combat this?
In the comfort of an air conditioned house, of course. At least, if you’re me. I won’t judge if you sip these spicy margs by the pool or somewhere equally exposed to the elements.
Just sayin’, they might make you break into a sweat before the sun or humidity even do.
This recipe was originally published on August 21, 2014. It was updated with a revised recipe and additional photos and content on July 22, 2019.
This page includes step by step instructions, as well as tips and notes. If you’d like to skip all that, feel free to scroll down to the full, printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
I ♡ margaritas! On the rocks or frozen, made with tequila or mezcal. Spicy or sweet, classic or fruity.
They’re great on Cinco de Mayo, National Margarita Day (which is February 22nd, BTW), or any random Tuesday happy hour.
Margs are generally a good every day libation.
This fresh watermelon version might be one of my faves, though.
The first time I made this spicy watermelon margarita (back in 2014), I tossed in some strawberries because I was short on melon and need some fruit bulk to make them stretch to serve four. The spicy tequila was an experiment in infusion, and I didn’t want to waste it, since it was already so hot.
If you ever want to make a shot of tequila even more kick-you-in-the-face, just throw some jalapeño in there.
Even your chaser won’t help.
To make a delicious classic margarita, all you really need are three basic margarita ingredients…
- Tequila! Non-aged silver or blanco tequilas are made for mixing, making them the best choice for margaritas. You could also use mezcal or sotol if you prefer.
- Lime juice. Freshly squeezed only. Take the time to grab your citrus juicer and squeeze a few – it’s worth it!
- Orange liqueur. Grand Marnier is my personal fave, but Cointreau or Triple Sec also work well (and are a bit more thrifty!).
But to make this particular spicy watermelon margarita, you’ve gotta add…
- Fresh Watermelon. The name says it all. If you leave it out, you’re drinkin’ something else.
- Strawberries. They add a bit of additional sweetness and bulk, and are always a pretty addition to the rim of any drink.
For the spice, the jalapeño is pretty necessary, but if you leave it out you’ll still have a tasty cocktail on your hands. Just minus that kick!
The Lowdown on Jalapeño-Infused Tequila
So, there are two ways to spice up your margs.
- Blend some jalapeño right into the drink. The bits of pepper stay in the drink – and the longer they stay, the more heat they infuse. If you drink quickly, no big deal, but if you’re nursing a pitcher, watch out!
- I personally like to make this recipe with jalapeño-infused tequila, since you can make as spicy as you want. Mild heat takes about 15 minutes. Anywhere above that and you’re playing with fire (pun intended). 12-24 hours is a pretty good range if you like it hot, but anything over that might be too much (as it was for Abe, who LOVES spicy!) Luckily, if you overdo it, you can simply dilute the tequila to taste with more tequila. Which means more margaritas! Win-win.
Oh, and the Tajín powder rim on the glass?
Have I told you how much I love that stuff?
It’s chili and lime and salty and OMG so good. I first had it on a drink at Epcot, and now constantly have it on hand. It’s great for cooking, too, so definitely check it out if you’re into chili-lime
I don’t usually drink from all sides of a margarita glass, because it can get super salty, but with Tajín…it’s lick-the-rim-clean good.
How to make a spicy watermelon margarita
First, you’ve gotta infuse your tequila. Slice a jalapeño in half lengthwise and place it into 1 cup of tequila. Let it infuse for 30 minutes to 4 hours, or overnight if you really want a spicy kick!
On the Rocks:
When you’re ready to drink, combine the infused tequila (or about 1/4 of a fresh jalapeño if you didn’t infuse), watermelon chunks, strawberries, lime juice, sugar and liqueur in a blender and process until smooth. If you’d like, pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, and discard any solids left in the strainer.
Pour some Tajín powder (or coarse salt) into a small bowl. Rub the rims of 4 drink glasses with a lime wedge and spin the rim of each glass in Tajín (or salt) to coat.
Fill each prepared glass with ice (if desired), then divide the margarita between them. Garnish your drinks with a lime wedge, sliced strawberry, watermelon wedge, and/or jalapeno coin and serve immediately.
Follow the recipe directions, but replace the fresh melon and berries with frozen versions. You can also add 1-2 cups of ice to the fresh fruit if you don’t have any frozen, but this will yield 1-2 additional drinks.
More margarita recipes to try!
HELPFUL KITCHEN TOOLS FOR MAKING MARGARITAS:
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Spicy Strawberry Watermelon Margarita
- ½ jalapeno sliced lengthwise and seeded
- 1 cup tequila
- 4 cups watermelon cubed
- 1 cup strawberries fresh or frozen
- 2 limes juiced
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ cup orange liqueur
- Tajin powder or margarita salt, for the rim
- Lime wedges strawberry slices, jalapeno coins, and watermelon wedges, for garnish
- Place jalapeno into cup of tequila and let soak for 2-4 hours, or overnight if you really want a kick!
- Combine the jalapeno, tequila, watermelon, strawberries, lime juice, sugar and liqueur in a blender and process until smooth.
- Place Tajin powder or salt in a small bowl. Rub the rims of 4 glasses with a lime wedge and spin the rim of each glass in Tajin/salt to coat.
- Fill each prepared glass with ice (if desired), then divide margarita between them.
- Garnish with a lime wedge, sliced strawberry, watermelon wedge, and/or jalapeno coin and serve immediately.