Today is National Watermelon Day! And I’m celebrating my favorite fruit with a watermelony summer drink, Fire and Ice Watermelon Margarita.
Will Tequila Kill Ya?
Believe it or not, tequila may be good for you. Alcohol is generally believed to not be healthy. However there has been some recent scientific evidence showing that in moderation some alcohol, like red wine and tequila, may have some health benefits.
Moderation means NO MORE than 4-5 ounces of red wine or 1 to 1.5 ounces (about a shot) of tequila in a day.
Some scientists believe tequila can aid in weight loss and prevent bone loss as tequila may help your body absorb calcium. Apparently, the more calcium you have, the more fat you can burn off. (Sounding good yet?)
Tequila may help lower the risk of diabetes. Tequila consumption can trigger the production of insulin and help lower blood sugar levels, which is important if you are prediabetic or diabetic. It can relax you and help you sleep better. It may lower dementia risk and also cardiovascular risk as it keeps your body clear of fat and prevent plaque buildup in your arteries.
BUT here’s the kicker. You have to drink ONLY 100% agave tequila. So read the label before buying that bottle of Jose Cuervo. If it doesn’t say 100% blue agave, put it back on the shelf. It will cost you more for the PURE version. I’ll be watching for specials and stocking up.
Let talk about the limes
Adding limes makes the drink tastier but also healthier. Lime juice, and its peel, contain healthy nutrients galore. Limes have antioxidants that slow down plaque buildup in arteries and vitamin C to boost your immune system. I love fresh limes–the color, the taste, and the smell. It’s all total freshness to me.
Then there’s the sugar
Sugar’s sugar, yes? No!
I chose to use turbinado sugar, or “raw sugar” as it is sometimes called, for my Fire and Ice Watermelon Margaritas. It has a few less calories than plain old white sugar. And unlike the white stuff on my pantry shelf, it has some nutritional value, too. Turbinado (raw) sugar, which comes from the first pressing of the sugar cane, has some potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. (I’m feeling healthier already)
But the usual message is same. Keep ANY type of sugar or sugary beverage (especially if it has alcohol in it) to a minimum. Remember, even the natural sugar coming from our beloved fruits need to be counted as part of your daily sugar consumption.
A few of my hints and changes
I thought the raw sugar went really well with this margarita recipe. I just started with 1 Tablespoon of sugar and then added about 1-2 teaspoons or so at a time. Depending on the sweetness of your watermelon, you may need more or less than the recipe asks for.
I also used about 7 ounces of tequila. If you like a strong margarita, add an extra ounce. Just taste as you go! Not too much tasting or or you may not make it to the party.
Also, I don’t strain the watermelon juice. Why give up all that healthy added fiber, right? But some like a “cleaner” drink so it’s up to you.
I adapted this margarita recipe from one I found on the Food Network’s website–Brian Boitano’s Watermelon Margaritas. Here’s the link to his recipe for your viewing pleasure. Brian Boitano’s Watermelon Margaritas
The biggest message is to remember to taste as you go.
Fire and Ice Watermelon Margaritas
- 4 cups cubed watermelon
- 1-2 Tablespoons sugar
- 3 limes (2 juiced and 1 cut into wedges for garnish)
- 7 ounces tequila
- 4 ounces Triple Sec, divided
- 3 Tablespoons kosher salt or turbinadoraw sugar (if you're like me and like the rims sweet )
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- In a blender, ADD the watermelon, sugar, lime juice, tequila and 4 ounces of the Triple Sec. BLEND until well combined.
- In a shallow dish, MIX the kosher salt or sugar with the chili powder.
- RUB the rims of four glasses with lime wedge and then DIP them into the salt/sugar chili mixture.
- If you’d like a frozen version of this delicious drink, BLEND the watermelon alone and FREEZE this puree. When ready for cocktails, ADD the frozen puree to the remaining ingredients and blend away. Results=frozen goodness.
- Strain the watermelon juice if you don't want the pulp.
- If you like a stronger margarita, add an extra 1 oz of tequila. I won't hold it against you.