Clara loves fruits of all kinds, but she is especially fond of watermelon. I picked one up recently, and we’ve been snacking on it as an after-dinner dessert. I sprinkled salt on a few of my pieces and couldn’t help but laugh to myself when I remembered how gross I thought that was when I was a kid. My dad always tried to get me to eat a bite of watermelon with salt, telling me it made the watermelon taste sweeter, and I thought that was the dumbest thing ever. My kid self just knew there was no way salt could make something taste sweet.
Fast forward twenty-something years, and I now know my dad was right. I’ve made enough baked goods to know that even sweet foods need salt. I’ve also grown to love the salty-sweet combination that seems so prevalent these days. Salt on chocolate? I’m there. Salty caramel? Oh yes.
While I was enjoying my salted watermelon slices, one and only one thing was on my mind: margaritas. Eric is the drink master around here and helped me come up with this recipe, and it might be one of my favorites yet. Fresh watermelon is combined with the usual margarita ingredients, and the Old Bay salt rim gives it an extra punch. Forget sickly sweet margarita mixes, and give one with fresh fruit a try. I guarantee you the results will speak for themselves. We’ll be sipping on these all summer long.
- YIELD: 2 drinks
Coarse salt and Old Bay seasoning for rims, optional
4 ounces fresh watermelon juice
3 ounces tequila
1½ ounces orange liqueur
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
Splash of agave nectar, optional, for a sweeter drink
Wet the rims of two rocks glasses with the spent lime and dip in a mixture of salt and Old Bay (to taste). Fill the glasses with ice.
Combine the watermelon juice, tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and agave nectar (if using) in a shaker. Add ice and shake until combined and well chilled. Strain into prepared glasses and garnish with a wedge of watermelon, if desired. Serve immediately.