This Smoky Watermelon Lemon Margarita is my favorite quick and easy, but oh so refreshing summer margarita. Smoky mezcal (or tequila) mixed with a splash of orange liquor, sweet watermelon cider, a touch of citrusy lemon, mint, and spicy jalapeños. This summery garden-inspired margarita is a fruity, smoky, and spicy take on the classic. The perfect cocktail to sip on with friends and family all summer long. Finish this cocktail off with a salty chili lemon rimmed glass, fresh herbs, and a watermelon wedge for that extra special touch.

side angled photo of Smoky Watermelon Lemon Margarita

I told myself I was going to skip this Saturday’s cocktail. It’s a Saturday in the summer…people have other things to do…but then I had some ideas. And not just one idea, a few ideas. And then? Well, I just had to create this summery margarita. So, here we are today!

Another Saturday, another cocktail. And I’m so happy and excited about it. I LOVE being overly excited about new recipes.

The truth is that summer in the cooking/blogging world is much slower. Therefore, I try to take a few more days off than say, the fall. But I hate breaking tradition and I’ve come to love Cocktail Saturdays. I don’t know, maybe I’ll continue doing them all summer long. Maybe we’ll do a new cocktail every other week. Or even once a month, then kick things up a notch come fall. Who knows, I’m playing it by year and just letting this wonderful summer season inspire me.

Which brings me to this margarita. It’s yet another recipe inspired by our herb garden and fresh lilac trees. I had watermelon on the counter, lemons in the fridge, and Mezcal in the pantry. So this one really just made itself. It’s the perfect summer cocktail. It’s a touch of sweet, a little bit spicy, hinted with smokiness, and so refreshing too!

prep photo of watermelon juice in glass measuring cup

The very quick details…

This margarita is easy.

First, make some fresh watermelon juice. How do you do this? It’s EASY. Blend a whole bunch of cubed watermelon, then strain it through a fine-mesh sieve. Or don’t strain it, and make your cocktail more of a “smoothie” situation. Either way, it works and it’s going to be good.

Now, the rim. I LOVE a rimmed cocktail, as I’m sure you all have noticed. This one is delicious, just salt, chipotle chili powder, a pinch of sugar, and lots of lemon zest. If you want to go the extra mile, add finely crushed rose petals to the mix too.

prep photo of chili salt

Next, find your favorite bottle of smoky mezcal. Or if you can’t stand mezcal (some love it, some hate it), use your favorite silver tequila. But the mezcal is what gives this margarita its smokiness.

Now, add a splash of orange liquor, a good amount of that watermelon juice, a little citrusy lemon, fresh mint and or lemon, and spice it up with a couple of jalapeño slices. Shake and strain into glasses. Then top with some bubbly sparkling water.

Easy, with so much flavor.

If you want to make this margarita “extra” special. Add the garnishes…

Meaning, a watermelon wedge and a sprig of mint or basil. If you have edible flowers around you, like lilacs, could add those too…you know I did.

sie angled photo of Smoky Watermelon Lemon Margarita

And that’s it. Serve this up tonight, tomorrow, or for Father’s day this Sunday. Or, if you’re already planning out your Fourth of July menu, this makes for a pretty great 4th of July margarita too!

And speaking of Father’s Day…

overhead photo of Smoky Watermelon Lemon Margarita

Here is my Father’s Day menu so far…

Starting the morning off with my baked blackberry ricotta French toast, to really show dad how much I love him.

For dinner, we’ll be kicking the night off with this smoky watermelon lemon margarita…of course. Tip: while you sip, snack on some homemade Goldfish (a little random, but my dad loves these baked cheesy snacks the most).

For dinner, I’m grilling up my sweet potato fry steak salad and serving it alongside this marinated goat cheese crostini.

And for dessert? Last year’s 6 ingredient chocolate peanut butter ice cream cake…because it’s my dad’s all-time favorite dessert.

What’s on your menus? I’m excited to (hopefully) see everyone recreating this drink over the weekend! Enjoy!

side angled photo of Smoky Watermelon Lemon Margarita

Looking for other margarita recipes? Here are some favorites:

Blackberry Thyme Margarita

Strawberry Hibiscus Margarita

Spicy Mango Margarita

Spicy Cucumber Margarita

Lastly, if you make this smoky watermelon lemon margarita, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Smoky Watermelon Lemon Margarita | halfbakedharvest.com
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4.73 from 18 votes

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

The Recipe

Smoky Watermelon Lemon Margarita

A quick, easy, and refreshing summer margarita...finish with a salty chili lemon rimmed glass, herbs, and a watermelon wedge for that extra special touch!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 270 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2-3 cups cubed watermelon
  • 2 ounces mezcal or silver tequila
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau (orange liquor)
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 4 fresh basil and or mint leaves, torn
  • 1-2 jalapeño slices
  • 1/4 cup sparkling water, for topping

Chili Lemon Salt

Instructions

  1. 1. To make the watermelon juice, blend 2 cups cubed watermelon in a blender. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

    2. To make the chili salt. Combine all the ingredients on a shallow plate. Rim your glass in salt.

    3. In a cocktail shaker or glass jar, add 1/4 cup watermelon juice, Mezcal, Cointreau, lemon juice, mint/basil, and jalapeño slices. Fill with ice and shake until combined, about 1 minute. The longer you shake, the spicier it will be.

    4. Strain into your prepared glass. Top with sparkling water, if desired. Garnish as desired with a watermelon wedge and fresh herbs. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If a Sweeter Drink is Desired: stir in 1-2 teaspoons honey or granulated sugar. 

Orange Liquor: if you don't have orange liquor at home, you can either omit (I often do) or use 2 teaspoons orange zest or a splash of orange juice.

Smoky Watermelon Lemon Margarita | halfbakedharvest.com
Print
4.62 from 18 votes

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

The Recipe

Smoky Watermelon Lemon Margarita

A quick, easy, and refreshing summer margarita...finish with a salty chili lemon rimmed glass, herbs, and a watermelon wedge for that extra special touch!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 270 kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cubed watermelon
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) mezcal or silver tequila
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) Cointreau (orange liquor)
  • juice from 2 lemons  (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil and or mint leaves, torn
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced
  • 3-4 (12 ounce) cans sparkling water, for topping

CHILI Lemon SALT

Instructions

  1. 1. To make the watermelon juice, blend 2 cups cubed watermelon in a blender. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

    2. Combine 2 cups watermelon juice, the Mezcal, Cointreau, lemon juice, mint/basil, and jalapeños in a large pitcher. Stir to combine and chill for 2 hours. The longer the jalapeños sit, the spicier the drink will be. Strain out the jalapeños and discard. Return the drink to the pitcher and chill until ready to serve.

    3. To make the chili salt. Combine all the ingredients on a shallow plate. Rim your glasses in salt.

    4. When ready to serve, fill the pitcher with ice. Pour into glasses and top off each glass with sparkling water. Garnish as desired with a watermelon wedge and fresh herbs. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If a Sweeter Drink is Desired: stir in 2-4 tablespoons honey or granulated sugar. 

Orange Liquor: if you don't have orange liquor at home, you either omit (I often do) or use 2 teaspoons orange zest or a splash of orange juice.

side angled horizontal photo of Smoky Watermelon Lemon Margarita | halfbakedharvest.com