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4 Summer Margaritas Get the Party Started

Ingredients like watermelon, mango, jalapeño provide a seasonal twist

Grapefruit Margarita

Ocean Prime

En español | Margaritas can make just about every event a fiesta — whatever the time of year.

But tequila's favorite cocktail takes on a summery spin when the classic margarita recipe gets a seasonal kick.

Bartenders who know their way around Mexico's classic beverage shared some inspired versions that are sure to surprise your guests this summer and amp up festivities. So bring out your prettiest margarita glasses and highballs for these easy-to-make concoctions sure to become favorites.

Ruby red grapefruit juice makes the difference

There's nothing like cutting into a chilled grapefruit at breakfast on a hot summer morning. So it's no surprise the juicy citrus goes well in this margarita recipe from restaurant and lounge chain Ocean Prime.

For the tastiest results, juice your own fresh grapefruit and lime, says Andrea Cornwell, director of beverage for Ocean Prime and Cameron Mitchell Restaurants.

"It adds an additional layer to the cocktail which is bright and mouth-watering,” she says. To serve it in something other than a standard margarita glass, she recommends pouring this version into an etched highball.

And be sure to use a jigger for your pours, she says. “Measure everything just like a food recipe.”

Prime Margarita

  • 1.5 ounce Don Julio Blanco Tequila
  • 1/2 ounce St. Germain elderflower liqueur
  • 3/4 ounce ruby red grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 ounce lime juice
  • 1/4 ounce agave nectar
  • 1/4 ounce grenadine

Instructions:

1. Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker.

2. Add ice.

3. Shake vigorously for 5 seconds.

4. Strain and pour over fresh ice into glass prepared with a kosher salt rim.

5. Garnish with three submerged lime wheels.

Get a kick when watermelon and jalapeño meet

Watermelon Margarita

Jotoro

Tequila infused with one of Mexico's favorite chilis gives a boost to the sweet watermelon overtones of this summery cocktail from popular Mexican restaurant and tequila bar JoToro in Tampa, Florida.

To infuse the tequila with fresh peppers, just trim the top off two jalapeños and slice them into thin strips. Drop into a bottle of blanco tequila, close the cap, shake gently, and let sit for 10 hours or overnight. Strain the peppers and seeds and you're ready to go.

For an authentic and eye-pleasing rim on your margarita glass, look for the Mexican spice called tajin at a supermarket or Latin market (a mix of dried chili peppers, lime and sea salt).

JoToro Spicy Watermelon Margarita

  • Tajin spice
  • 2 cubes watermelon
  • 1 ounce fresh watermelon puree
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 ounce Casamigos Blanco Tequila
  • 3/4 ounce jalapeño-infused Casamigos Tequila
  • 1 1/2 ounces Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile Liqueur

Instructions:

1. Spread sea salt or tajin into a small shallow dish. Dip a rocks glass rim in water and then into the spice mixture.

2. Muddle the watermelon with the puree in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.

3. Add the citrus juice, tequila and liqueur. Shake vigorously with ice.

4. Strain into the tajin-rimmed rocks glass and garnish with a slice of watermelon.

There's booze in the blender

Spicy Mango Rita

Margaritaville Hotel Nashville

The frozen concoction that helped Jimmy Buffett hang on was the inspiration behind his 1977 hit song “Margaritaville.”

And there's definitely booze in the blender of this atypical frozen margarita recipe from the mixologists at Margaritaville Hotel Nashville made from mango, the house margarita blend and more.

"The habanero from the whiskey gives a good smoky spice flavor, making the drink super unique and well balanced,” says bartender Kim Basnight.

Spicy Mango Rita

  • 1.5 ounces 1800 Reposado Tequila
  • 3/4 ounce Ole Smoky Mango Habanero Whiskey
  • 3.5 ounces Lemon-X Golden Margarita Mix with agave
  • Half a mango cut in chunks
  • Lime wedge, jalapeño for garnish

Instructions:

1. Fill cocktail mixer to the top with ice.

2. Add all ingredients except mango and garnishes.

3. Cover and shake.

4. Serve in a short glass with salted rim and garnish with lime wedge, jalapeño and mango pieces.

Exotic lemongrass syrup mixes it up

Homegrown Margarita

Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa

Margaritas may be most closely associated with Mexico, but these beverages are a worldwide favorite. Case in point is this Caribbean-inspired concoction with a touch of Asian flavor.

A recipe from the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa in Grand Cayman, the Homegrown Margarita layers exotic notes of lemongrass with cucumber juice and grapefruit liqueur in a most delicious way.

"This clean, delicate set of flavors is brought to life with a great aromatic profile,” while remaining faithful to the essence of a margarita, says the property's beverage manager, Jim Wrigley.

Homegrown Margarita

  • 1.5 ounces Herradura Silver Tequila
  • 3/4 ounce lemongrass syrup (rest two chopped stalks of lemongrass in a quart of simple syrup overnight)
  • 1/4 ounce grapefruit liqueur
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce fresh cucumber juice

Instructions:

1. Fill cocktail shaker with ice and all ingredients.

2. Shake vigorously and strain over cubed ice into a chilled short glass with a salted rim.

3. Garnish with a cucumber slice.

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