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Watermelon “Jolly Rancher” Margarita With Jalapeno

I haven’t heard many pregnant women say this, so I don’t know if I am “allowed” to, but…I really miss drinking. Especially in the summer time, there’s nothing like sitting outside in the heat with a cold glass of rosé, or a cold beer, or an ice cold/frozen margarita. This watermelon margarita (from my cookbook) tastes like a watermelon Jolly Rancher, and that was a total happy accident. I have to tell you that creating cocktail recipes for my cookbook was my least favorite part of the whole book writing process. I know it should be the most fun, but figuring out where you went wrong – or even what you did right – while making a cocktail is really difficult.  Furthermore, the more you taste test, the more drunk you get, which means your focus declines and your notes go to shit (or, if you’re me, you forget to take notes altogether).

But when we made this watermelon margarita and I tasted it for the first time I was like:


(You just have to imagine that’s a bowl full of watermelon margs, not a pot full of tomato soup.)

I think the other reason I love this cocktail so much is because Watermelon Jolly Ranchers take me back to my childhood: I got bullied a lot when I was kid, so escaping the confines of school at the end of the day used to feel like I was getting out of jail. On the walk home, there was a candy store where I could buy individual Jolly Ranchers for a nickel. And the best part was that this candy store had them all separated into flavor bins, which I LOVED. There was also something about the chaos of my day juxtaposed against that highly organized, color/flavor coded cornucopia of sugar that I found comforting and happy. I’d load up on the watermelon, cherry, and sour apple ranchers and walk home listening to The Beatles on my Walkman, trying to forget the day I had and get my chin up for the next day!

And while now, as an adult, I am not getting bullied anymore, there are some days you just need to forget the day and enjoy an (alcoholic) Jolly Rancher. I hope you enjoy! Send me Instagram pics and I’ll live vicariously through you!

Watermelon "Jolly Rancher" Margarita With Jalapeno

Makes 1 cocktail


1/2 ounce agave nectar, plus two tablespoons for rimming the glass

Maldon salt

2 (1-inch) cubes of watermelon, rind and seeds removed

2 slices of jalapeno pepper, ribs removed and seeded

1 ounce fresh lime juice

2 ounces blanco tequila

1 lime wheel or jalapeno slice, for garnish


  1. Pour 2 tablespoons of agave into a sauce and 2 tablespoons of the Maldon salt into a separate saucer. Dip the rim of a glass in the agave and then into the salt to coat.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the watermelon, jalapeno, and 1/2 ounce of agave nectar together. Add the lime juice, tequila, and ice and shake. Strain over fresh ice in the rimmed glass. Garnish with lime or jalapeno.

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