Monday, August 1, 2011

Savor the flavors of South Carolina with Watermelon Margaritas

South Carolina has a recently revised culinary site,, that includes recipes like this one which we chose to take advantage of summer's produce and to sip to ward off the heat. The recipe comes from "Lee Bros, Simple Fresh Southern," by Matt and Ted Lee with photo by Bob Fink.

Watermelon Margaritas
Serves 8

4 lbs seedless watermelon
8 1-inch-long strips lime peel
Kosher salt
16 oz. (2 cups) fresh lime juice (from about 16 small limes)
16 oz. (2 cups) tequila blanco (silver tequila)
8 oz. (1 cup) Triple Sec, Cointreau or other orange liqueur

Cut away the rind, chop the seedless flesh into chunks and liquefy  - in small batches if necessary - in a food processor or blender. You should have about one quart of watermelon juice.

Note: If you let it sit, the watermelon juice separates into a thick red pulp and a clearer liquid. To insure the pulp gives the drink a tongue-satisfying body, whisk the juice thoroughly before pouring it into the shaker.

For each cocktail, salt the rim of an 8-ounce glass by first smearing it with a piece of lime peel then dipping into a saucer of kosher salt. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add 4 ounces of tequila and 1 oz. of orange liqueur. Shake vigorously and strain into the glass. Garnish with lime peel.

Variation: Watermelon Lime Cooler. For the non-drinkers, omit the alcohol, pour the watermelon juice over ice and add a splash of seltzer.

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