Margarita Watermelon Slices

This is not a cocktail actually but watermelon that has been steeped in a mixture of ingredients normally used to make a margarita. Try these Margarita Watermelon Slices and you’ll see why we love them so much!

Margarita Watermelon Slices and Lime in a Margarita Glass

Something old is new again! Yes, I’m re-posting a dish that I first shared many years ago! The photos were awful and this is so wonderful; it was simply time. No confusion either, this is Margarita Watermelon Slices…not a Watermelon Margarita (although I’ve made that too!).

I HAD to share this again after having it the other night when I reminded myself of how much I love preparing watermelon like this. If you’re a new reader or if you’re not and either forgot it or never saw it I have to tell you, this Margarita Watermelon is SO good. Sort of a reverse cocktail.

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The fruit is not pulverized and combined with other cocktail ingredients, no…it’s left whole and infused with them.

Almost to a person when I mention Margarita Watermelon I hear, ‘You mean a watermelon margarita?’ I love those too but this is something more unique and so special. I like to serve it as a dessert for a summer barbecue. It’s light and refreshing but definitely has a bit of a kick. Just watch the kids; they need their own separate melon!

Margarita Watermelon Slices closeup with a bee!

Yes, you’re seeing that right…and made for a much more difficult shoot than it should have. Several of them were tempted by this treat; my left hand was waving the air over the watermelon while my right was pressing the camera button. I tired to card them but they were quick little devils! The photo is not my best but at least I got him in focus! I was not destined to be a bee wrangler. 🙂

Margarita Watermelon Slices Served in a Margarita Glass on a Tray Outdoors

This is such a light and lovely summer dessert but definitely with a kick. The one thing I made a point of modifying this time around? I served them on a plate last time…and friends gave me a look that said it all; wondering how to handle all of that luscious juice that was leftover.

Why yes, we all did sip that magical leftover elixir from the plate. So I made it easier and served the slices in a glass this time around!

Super easy to make; it’s simply a combination of tequila, orange liqueur and simple syrup that the watermelon soaks in for a couple of hours in the fridge. Served with a slice of lime to squeeze over the slices and a dose of Maldon salt, they might be too easy to eat. When served in a glass, that leftover liquid is like gold at the end of the rainbow; it’s amazing!

When I first posted this it was in conjunction with a series that I was doing with a The Food Network weekly event. When the week was watermelon and I had an adorable little, sweet, baby watermelon on the counter that I had just picked up at a Farmer’s Market, how could I not make it the star?

It helped that this was simply the best watermelon I’ve had in a long time. Since then I usually save my watermelon moments for the end of July through the end of the season in September, I like ripe, red, juicy watermelons.

I just love this grown-up version of a favorite summer fruit with margarita fixings though my mantra remains the same – use the same quality ingredients that are in all of the margaritas I love.

As always, I used Reposado Tequila and Orange Liqueur to infuse the watermelon slices. Equally if not even more important as good booze? Get a great watermelon. They should be coming into markets now and have a rich, red fruit and be so sweet.

The longer the watermelon soaks, the more flavorful it becomes. Serve it in a glass like mine or a bowl with a spoon, anything to not waste that liquid…it gets poured over the slices in the glass or the bowl before they are finished with lime juice and salt. Be sure there are napkins or bibs available.

I love using watermelon in cocktails and I’ve included a couple of others you might enjoy. Both the Watermelon Martini and the Watermelon Margarita are wonderful additions to your cocktail lineup. I say ‘try them all!’

Join my friends as we celebrate the best of summer with The Food Network and their #SummerSoiree. Each week a group of us will share a favorite dish using the theme of the week. This week it’s all about Watermelon. Perfect timing too because now is when local melons should be coming into market all juicy and sweet. I could seriously eat them with every meal! Be sure to check out the wonderful assortment of watermelon favorites from my friends!

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Homemade Delish: Refreshing Watermelon Salsa
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Watermelon and Peach Salsa
Dishin & Dishes: Watermelon Jalapeno Agua Fresca
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Watermelon Salsa
Red or Green: Watermelon, Corn & Jalapeno Salad
Taste with the Eyes: Unique Watermelon Salad – Pomegranate Syrup, Feta, Cucumber
FN Dish: 6 Party-Ready Ways to Take Watermelon Off the Rind

PIN IT! ‘Margarita Watermelon Slices’

Margarita Watermelon Slices Served Outdoors in a Traditional Margarita Glass
Two Servings of Margarita Watermelon Slices Served in a Traditional Margarita Glass
Margarita Watermelon Slices Served in a Traditional Margarita Glass

Margarita Watermelon Slices

A fun alternative to an actual cocktail; watermelon slices are stepped in a mixture of tequila, sugar and orange liqueur and served plated.
5 average from less than 50 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Cocktails, Friday Cocktails, Fruits
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 437 kcal


  • 1 small watermelon seedless, cut into approximately 16 slices
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup tequila
  • ¼ cup orange liqueur
  • 2 limes cut into fourths
  • sea salt I use Maldon Flaked Sea Salt


  • Bring sugar and water just to a boil and cook just until sugar is dissolved; about 1 minute. Remove from heat and pour sugar syrup into a glass container.
  • Add the tequila and orange liqueur and let cool slightly.
  • Arrange the watermelon slices in a single layer in two large baking dishes.
  • Pour the simple syrup over the watermelon slices and refrigerate until cold; at least 1 hour.
  • Flip the watermelon over every 30 minutes.
  • Remove the watermelon from the syrup, and either arrange for serving from a platter or on single serving plates. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the melon and lightly sprinkle with the salt..




Nutrition Facts
Margarita Watermelon Slices
Serving Size
1 Serving
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword cocktail, margarita, watermelon
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  1. Just had the margarita watermelon for dessert. I have a suggestion – Make this with melon balls and serve in a bowl with the juice. It’s yummy

    1. Oh boo…cold go away! Don’t forget this for warmer months, it’s really a fun treat.

    1. It is a fun treat to offer to friends; if you can keep from eating all the slices before they get there!

    1. Let it cool a bit; room temp is fine but nothing more than that. It is SO good; we had a perfect watermelon too; gosh I wish I had another one now!

    1. Absolutely huge hit Maureen…just make sure to get a really great watermelon; that was sure key to this one being so dang fabulous.

    1. Thanks Cheryl; I just mentioned to someone else that I remember my oldest daughter’s first day of kindergarten and the area they reserved for moms to gather and yes, shed a few tears. Tissues, coffee and donuts. I’m thinking they should have had this. 🙂

    1. Absolutely not just for mom’s…just not for kids. Truth is it doesn’t have a strong boozy taste at all; kids would gobble them up so they would have to be kept under lock and key and only served to those with an ID. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Jessica; the watermelon gets all the credit for being so juicy and fabulous. The photos? Your kind remarks are VERY much appreciated; I am absolutely a work in progress!

  2. my mom always tells the story of first days of school. all the other moms in our neighborhood would celebrate by having a martini party all morning. my mom was the one sans drink, sobbing in the corner because she did not want summer to end. i will need to tell her about your clever and delicious sounding recipe. maybe she would have enjoyed the watermelon and not been so sad!

    1. When my oldest daughter started kindergarten they had a special cry room for the moms with coffee and donuts. They should have had this.

    1. I seem capable of finding a way to add booze to a lot of things…this was unique and I’m SO glad I tried it…we LOVED it.

  3. I’ve got a melon sitting on my counter and it’s definitely going to made into this wonderful treat … 🙂
    beautiful photos!!

  4. If I don’t admit to wanting to slurp the juices out of the bowl I will admit to being all for grabbing a straw and sucking it out of the bowl until the straws makes that annoying noise:). You are so right when you said once that it’s not fair we don’t live closer.

  5. Now there is a back to school treat that I can relate to! What a fun twist on watermelon. This treat is sure to be a hit with the moms in my neighborhood.

  6. Swooning! What a wonderful, refreshing treat for us moms who finally get our kids back in school. How perfect is this? I can only imagine how great these slices are…with the juice being slurped up at the end. Love it, Barb!

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