thirsty thursday: spicy watermelon margaritas

As promised last week, here’s part two!

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spicy. watermelon. margaritas.

I mean, this is what I’ve been waiting for! And I’m going to go ahead and say that you have too…you just might not know it yet.

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I feel like I say this more often than I should, but I mean it 10000000% this time. This is the drink of summer, the drink to put all other summer cocktails to shame. One look at that color, just look! It’s gorgeous. Stunning.

It reminds me of the pink streaks at sunset during summer. I’m in love. Both with summer and this drink. Forever and ever.

Fresh watermelon juice meets hot, spicy tequila – and the result could not be more spectacular. I’ve mentioned that I was never terribly fond of overly spicy things as a child, but it just goes to show you how your palette changes and develops as you get older {even typing the word “older” made me cringe a little bit}. But I sure am glad it does happen! Because making this drink has changed my summer cocktail experience. The hubs and I have been making variations of this for several weeks now, and I am beyond thrilled to share it with you today! Happy summer sipping, y’all!

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Spicy Watermelon Margaritas

You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how refreshing this drink is! The perfectly sweet watermelon is nicely complemented by the punchy tequila; a surefire winner for any summer get-together.

Ingredients:

8 ounces watermelon juice*

1 ounce habanero-infused tequila

1 ounce silver tequila {or if you dare, double up on the amount of the habanero-infused tequila!}

simple syrup, to taste {here’s my recipe; simply omit the sliced ginger used}

ice, for the glass

fresh mint springs or basil leaves, for garnish

*To make the watermelon juice: roughly chop about 1/4 of a large {seedless} watermelon. In batches, add the chopped fruit into the bowl of a food processor, and processing until no chunks remain. Using a large bowl lined with cheesecloth, pour the processed watermelon onto it; the solids will separate from the juice, and you’ll be left with gloriously pink and sweet watermelon juice! Make sure to store any remaining in the refrigerator, tightly sealed. 

To Prepare:

In a large rocks glass filled with ice, pour in the fresh watermelon juice. Add in the two tequilas, and stir vigorously to combine. Take a small sip, and adjust the taste {AKA the spiciness!} with several dashes of simple syrup to suit your palette. Garnish with fresh mint and/or basil.

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Enjoy!…and do yourself a favor by sitting porch-side in the sun. It’s the best way to enjoy cocktails in the summer, no? : )

thirsty thursday: the fallen apple

Gone are my cravings for cocktails on the lighter side. While I still love a good mojito if the sunshine is out {because how can you go wrong with that drink?}, autumn cocktails need to be warm, comforting, and full-bodied.

We’ve had a bottle of apple wine {a favorite of mine from a local winery} waiting to be crafted into something fun and new. I adore this wine on its own, but have been itching to transform it into something different! So I spent the better part of an afternoon thinking and dreaming researching how we could best do that.

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And then I saw the drink I’m sharing with you all today. I’ve taken a bit of a liberty and tweaked it from its original form, but the end result is nothing short of spectacular. The maple bourbon we’re using hits the perfect note of warmth and sweet; the mulled simple syrup adds a bit of spice and flair thanks to the honey, and the apple wine itself creates the perfect canvas for these flavors to meld as one.

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The Fallen Apple {recipe adapted from What Sarah Knows}

With my newly found and developed love of good bourbon, this cocktail was a no-brainer to make on a chilly Friday evening. Perfectly balanced with the warm notes from the simple syrup, the sweet bourbon, and the crisp apple slices, this cocktail will make you feel comfortable and cozy. 

For the Mulled Simple Syrup:

1 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup honey {use local if you can}

1 tsp. mulling spices

To make the syrup, bring all ingredients to a  boil on the stove top, making sure to stir constantly. The sugar may burn if you don’t! Once all ingredients are dissolved, remove  from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator, tightly covered, when not in use. 

Ingredients:

2 ounces Crown Royal Maple Bourbon, or whatever you like

2 ounces apple wine {apple cider would be a great substitute}

1 Tbsp. mulled simple syrup

thinly sliced apple, for garnish

To Prepare:

As directed above, prepare the mulled simple syrup and set aside to cool.

In a shaker add ice, bourbon, apple wine, and mulled simple syrup. Shake and pour into a glass. Top with sliced apple.

Cheers!

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Let’s Discuss: are you a fan of mulled wine? What do you like/not like about it?