Pepper-Watermelon Margarita

spicy watermelon margaritaFresh watermelon and a seeded serrano add a splash of sweet heat to this twist on a Margarita.

1 cup watermelon juice
1 serrano chile pepper, sliced in half and seeds removed
1-2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup tequila
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup Cointreau
Tools: small sauce pan, pitcher wooden spoon
Glass: 4 salt-rimmed highballs or jars
Garnish: fresh lime wheels

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine watermelon juice, serrano, salt and 1 cup of sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves, taste, and add more sugar if necessary. Remove the chile and let the syrup cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, rim glasses with salt. Combine the watermelon-chile syrup and remaining ingredients in a pitcher with ice cubes and stir to combine. Pour into ice-filled, salt-rimmed glasses and garnish.

Vianney Rodriguez,