Watermelon-Basil Mezcal Margarita
In my mind, there’s a serious difference between “trips” and “vacations.”
Trips are intense. They involve guide books, and waking up early, and sensible walking shoes. (Since I refuse to purchase such shoes, trips also involve blisters and crying.) One does a lot of sightseeing and learning on trips, which tend to have an educational bent. A few trip examples: exploring Machu Picchu, climbing the Great Wall of China, visiting the Egyptian pyramids, touring Rome, Florence, Berlin, or any other major city with rich history (and endless museums/historical sites).
Trips are awesome and eye-opening experiences in so many ways, but they’re also exhausting. They demand a go-go-go mentality, meticulous planning, and translators (I like to use Logan for funsies—his Spanglish is particularly entertaining) among other things, and one often returns home more tired than when they left.
Whoever is responsible for the saying, “I need a vacation from my vacation” misspoke. That person was not on a vacation. They were on a TRIP.
Vacations are a completely different story. Vacations are meant for old school R&R. There’s no need for alarm clocks, itineraries, or supportive shoes. (In fact, the best vacations don’t require any footwear at all.) Vacation days are spent reading, and splashing in water, and generally chilling the fuck out. Multiple daily naps and cocktails aren’t just allowed, they’re encouraged. That’s not to say you can’t do some exploring on vacation, it’s just that the adventuring has a more leisurely feel. Your schedule is 100% flexible, and there’s no shame in doing absolutely nothing, if that’s your activity of choice.
Note: Not everyone is good at vacationing!! Some people can’t handle all that downtime. I am not one of those people.
Right now, I’m on vacation. (Surprise!) And not to toot my own horn, but I am KILLING IT.
Logan and I are in California for the week, and we’re doing a whole lot of nada in the best possible way. We flew into LA Friday night and after spending a glorious Saturday crushing Harry Potter World, a Rams preseason game, and some QT with my little brother, we drove up the coast to Santa Barbara for some roommate bonding time. Right near da beach, boiiiiii.
We’ve been happily holed up at my dad’s house for the past few days, and since my fam is out of town until tomorrow, the two of us have had the place to ourselves. (Despite my age, I’m still tempted to scream, “NO PARENTS!! WHOOOO!” and run around the house naked. Sorry, Dad.) Let’s just say there’s been a lot of romantic couple’s time spent bronzing, snoozing, and practicing our bartending skills. Logan announced a while ago that he had one very important goal for this week, and that was to drink a different cocktail every afternoon. We have remained committed to this important mission, and we’re very proud.
Several delightful libations have been shaken and stirred since the start of Logenapalooza 2016, but this Watermelon-Basil Mezcal Margarita is the current frontrunner for most epic vacation cocktail.
This one’s a knockout, friends. Sweet and tangy with just the right amount of Mezcal smoke, this perfectly balanced margarita is uber-refreshing and dangerously sippable. The basil adds a hint of herbal freshness, and as you can see, the drink is a total looker. The decorative fruit skewers are optional, but I’d go ahead and put in the few extra minutes to make them. You deserve pretty things and snacks in your cocktail. Just do it.
FYI, the recipe below is for a single margarita, but you’ll have enough watermelon juice for 4-5 cocktails, so I recommend getting tipsy with someone you love.
Weird Blog Lady on Vacay
Flaky salt for rimming the glass (optional)
4-6 large fresh basil leaves (depending on how much basil flavor you like)
1 ounce fresh lime juice
3 ounces fresh watermelon juice (recipe follows)
2 ounces mezcal (or tequila)
3 cups cubed watermelon
Watermelon cut into roughly ½-inch cubes
Lime wedges (I recommend slicing your limes into ¼-inch rounds, then slicing each round into four triangles.)
Fresh basil leaves
If you plan to garnish your cocktail with a fancy fruit skewer, make that first. Trim your bamboo skewer so that it's about 1-inch taller than the cocktail glass you plan to use. Thread a cube of watermelon onto the skewer, a lime wedge, and a basil leaf. Repeat until the skewer is full. (It’s usually best to end on a watermelon cube for stability and presentation purposes, but don’t stress about it.) Briefly set aside.
Next, make the watermelon juice. Place your cubed watermelon in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer (yes, a pasta strainer will work if that’s all you have) into a glass or mason jar.
If you like a salt rim on your marg, pour some flaky sea salt onto a small plate. Moisten the rim of your cocktail glass and dip it in the salt.
Add the basil leaves and lime juice to a cocktail shaker and muddle gently. Add the watermelon juice, mezcal and a few ice cubes and shake vigorously to combine.
Strain the margarita into the rimmed cocktail glass and garnish with a decorative fruit skewer if you like.
If you're making margs for a crowd, feel free to prep your decorative skewers in advance. Once assembled, place them on a large plate, cover them with a damp paper towel, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
p.s. I’m thrilled to be a part of the #DRINKTHESUMMER party today. This virtual fiesta is hosted by Sherrie from With Food + Love, and she’s brought together an unbelievably talented group of bloggers to share their favorite summer dranks. For more awesome cocktail (and mocktail!) inspo, take a peek at the delicious list below.
A Little Saffron | Beach Bum’s Rum
A Thought For Food | Tarragon Tequlia Swizzle
Downshiftology | Limoncello Prosecco with Blueberries and Thyme
Heart of a Baker | Green Tea Mint Cooler
Hungry Girl por Vida | Whisky Peach Alexander
The Green Life | Spiced Plum Fig + Kombucha Cocktail
Hummingbird High | Watermelon + Mint Agua Fresca
Floating Kitchen | Peach Sun Tea + Bourbon Cocktail
Beard and Bonnet | Easy Melon Mojitos
EGD | Backyard Peach Sweet Tea
Appeasing a Food Geek | Basil + Black Pepper Gin Sour
Vegetarian Ventures | Garden Tonic Punch
Nosh and Nourish | Mango Margaritas with Chile Lime Salted Rims
Domesticate ME! | Watermelon-Basil Mezcal Margarita
The Foodie Nurse | Husk Cherry Margarita
my name is yeh | Choose Your Own Adventure Bloody Marys
Sevengrams | Cucumber Gin + Chartreuse Cocktail
Wicked Spatula | Coconut Gin + Tonic
Eat Boutique | Sbagliatos + Homemade Sweet Vermouth
Nutritionist in the Kitch | Healthy Muddled Blackberry Piña Coladas
Chocolate + Marrow | Pequito Verdecito
The Solstice Table | Jalapeno Watermelon Cooler
HonestlyYUM | Watermelon Fresh Herbs + Sotol Cocktail
Seasonal Cravings | Strawberry Lime Gin Rickey
Salted Plains | Frozen Honeydew Daiquiris
The Broken Bread | Honeydew-Ginger Apricot Mojitos
Fix Feast Flair | Ginger-Berry Splash Cocktail
Turntable Kitchen | Summer Cooler Cocktails, Two Ways
Foolproof Living | Blueberry Dark Cherry + Calvados Cocktail
Dessert for Two | Salty Melon Slush
The Wood and Spoon | Honey Basil Margaritas
Milly’s Kitchen | Golden Watermelon Ginger Basil + Tequilla
Heartbeet Kitchen | Salty Watermelon Shrub Elixir
TENDING the TABLE | Raspberry + Fig Hibiscus Cooler
Snixy Kitchen | Lavender Earl Gray Blackberry Ice Cream Floats
The Bojon Gourmet | Vanilla Rooibos Peach Ice Cream Floats
Gratitude and Greens | Hong Kong Style Crushed Watermelon Ice
My Heart Beets | Spiced Pistachio Shake
rooting the sun | Strawberry Fennel Soda
The Modern Proper | Vanilla Plum Shrub
Feed Me Phoebe | Watermelon-Cucumber Kombucha Coolers
Gourmande in the Kitchen | Stone Fruit Thyme Shrub Soda
dolly and oatmeal | Cold-Brewed Shiso + Hibiscus Tea Iced Latte
happy hearted kitchen | Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Fennel Orange + Cardamom
I am a Food Blog | Cherry Vanilla Sodas
Tasty Yummies | Fig Vanilla Bean Almond Milk
Let’s talk evergreen | Iced Earl Grey Yuanyang With a Hint of Rose
Kale & Caramel | Emerald Beaut Green Spritzer
Earthy Feast | Watermelon Hibiscus Agua Fresca
Now, Forager | Sparkling Plumcot + Purple Basil Shrubs
The Pig & Quill | Brown Sugar Blueberry Pie Shakes
Well and Full | Peach Bubble Tea
Sweetish Co | The Best Frozen Hot Chocolate
holly & flora | Spiced Pineapple Shrub Sparklers with Black Tea + Coconut
Pure Ella | Fresh Mint Tea
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