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Watermelon Cocktail (Spicy)

Have you ever been caught in the crossfire of sweet, spicy, and savory? As it so happens, this pepper-infused watermelon margarita recipe can carry all three taste palates on its icy shoulders.

Concern yourself not with the time of year. Even as summer comes to its stormy end, frozen cocktails can be drunk in any season without shame. That said, please don't prepare this mix with the hopes of its spicy kick warming you up; the peppery aftertaste is just a little prick to keep you awake, not a fireball substitute.

Spicy Watermelon Margarita Recipe

There are three defining flavors of this margarita recipe: sour, sweet, and spicy. While the recipe below does a good job of balancing those flavors to a delicious cocktail, each one can be adjusted and changed to match your preferences.

If you prefer a more tangy, real margarita-style drink, more lime juice and a pinch of sea salt should do the trick. Another trick is to blend the watermelon first, before adding any other ingredients, and use a fine mesh strainer to extract just the watermelon juice.

Stir the fresh watermelon juice with half an ounce of orange liqueur, then return to the blender to combine with the other ingredients. This should produce a purer cocktail with more semblance of a regular margarita.

If you're really looking for the spice to kick in, a common and reliable trick is to create a jalapeno simple syrup. Bring two cups of water to a boil, add and dissolve a cup of sugar, then stir in the slices of two whole jalapeno peppers (seeds and all).

Continue stirring on low heat for 5 minutes, then strain out the pepper chunks and pour the syrup into a container. For this recipe, only use 1/3 cup of the simple syrup to blend with the rest of the ingredients (save the rest for later).

Although this is just a fruity little cocktail, please do drink responsibly. Enjoy!

Two spicy watermelon cocktails with straws and lemon wedge

Prep: 5 mins | Cooking: 0 mins | Total time: 5 mins

Yields 4-6 servings


  • Watermelon, sliced (6 cups or about 1/4 of a medium watermelon)

  • Fresh lime juice (1 tbsp)

  • Red pepper flakes (1/2 tsp)

  • Ice cubes (4)

  • White rum (5 oz.)

  • White granulated sugar (1 tbsp)


  1. In a food processor, combine watermelon, fresh lime juice, red pepper flakes, ice, white rum, and sugar. Blend until smooth. Pour and serve with a few lime wedges.

History of Watermelon

The origin of the watermelon, or at least watermelon's close relative, begins in southern Africa. Back then, 5,000 years ago, the red flesh was bitter and packed with large seeds. Instead, watermelons were cultivated for another feature: their thick skin and watery insides.

Watermelons are incredibly efficient at storing water, even in the hot climate of Africa's Kalahari desert. And, true to their name, watermelon flesh is composed of over 90% water. In circa 2,000 BCE, these attributes made the melons ideal for transporting water supplies across the desert terrain.

In fact, watermelons proved so useful that their seeds became a common commercial trade among tribes in Africa.

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