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Fresh Watermelon ‘Rita Drink Recipe

The Fresh Watermelon ‘Rita comes from Erin Ward at Virgil’s Real Barbecue in NYC. This is a fun watermelon margarita that’s easy to love and perfect for summer. It tastes like fresh watermelon with lime and orange.

This is a great cocktail for barbecues and cookouts, because you can make up a big batch in a pitcher and pour as you go. It’s great for letting guests serve themselves.

One thing I like about this drink is that you don’t have to puree the watermelon, like so many watermelon margarita recipes call for you to do. In this one, you just crush it.

Not only does that mean one less kitchen tool to clean up, it’s also a great way to work out some anger. I love crushing and muddling.

Fresh Watermelon 'Rita on picnic table in front of plate of watermelon

It also makes a slight texture difference compared to pureeing the watermelon. Some of the pulpy feeling gets preserved by crushing it.

If you’re serving this at a party, you can make a “watermelon punch bowl” by cutting one third off the end of a watermelon and scooping out the insides with a melon baller or ice cream scoop.

To make the punch bowl stand up on a table, just slice a thin part of the rind off at the bottom to make it level. Then you fill the punch bowl with Fresh Watermelon ‘Rita, put out some (optional salt-rimmed glasses) with ice and let guests help themselves.

Be sure to check out my collection of Margarita Recipes.

Fresh Watermelon 'Rita with watermelon slice and mint sprig

This is a refreshing drink that’s perfect on a hot day, by the pool or otherwise. It’s a great way to make use of leftover watermelon, too.

You can do this one with or without a salt rim, depending on your preference. If you do like a salt rim, I have an easy tutorial on how to rim a glass with or without a special rimmer dish.

It’s worth using a quality tequila in this one, but you don’t have to go broke. I have made it with Casa Noble’s reposado and Altos Plata, both with great results. I liked the Altos just as well as the more expensive Casa Noble.

Fresh Watermelon 'Rita with heart carved out of watermelon

That’s because there are several other ingredients in there. You do taste the tequila, but it’s not the dominant flavor. The dominant flavor is the watermelon.

Fresh Watermelon ‘Rita Drink Recipe

The Fresh Watermelon 'Rita is a fun watermelon margarita that's easy to love and perfect for summer. It uses crushed watermelon rather than puree. #watermelonmargarita #mixthatdrink #margarita #margaritarecipe #watermeloncocktails #tequilacocktails

Fresh Watermelon ‘Rita Drink Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

The Fresh Watermelon ‘Rita is a fun, easy watermelon margarita. You crush the watermelon instead of pureeing it, and that makes a difference in texture.


  • 2 chunks of watermelon (each the size of your thumb)
  • 2 ounces of silver tequila
  • 1 ounce of fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce of simple syrup
  • Dash of Cointreau
  • Coarse sea salt (optional)


  1. Use a shaker top to crush the watermelon in the bottom of a pint glass.
  2. Fill the glass up with ice and add the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Shake vigorously for five to ten seconds.
  4. Rim a pint or margarita glass with salt and fill it with salt.
  5. Strain the mixture into the glass and garnish with a small watermelon wedge.

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