Danny Bonvissuto, HGTV Gardens Contributor

Danny Bonvissuto

Talde_Watermelon Margarita.jpg
Toast the flavors of summer with a margarita made with fresh watermelon puree.

The most consumed melon in the United States, watermelon signifies summer from beginning to end. According to the National Watermelon Promotion Board, watermelons originated in Africa, take 80 to 95 days to grow, and range in weight from five to 268.8 pounds—the Guinness World Record holder grown by Lloyd Bright in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. 

Watermelons are traditionally harvested through Labor Day, so now's the time to chew your way from the top of the triangular slice down to the rind. Send summer off with these cool watermelon recipes, including a margarita made with watermelon puree. "I have loved watermelon ever since I was a kid," says John Bush, beverage director of Talde in Brooklyn, New York. "Now that I am an adult, I can add booze to it.”

Watermelon Margarita

Courtesy of John Bush, beverage director of Talde, Brooklyn, New York 

  • 2 1/5 ounces Falva Gold tequila
  • ½ ounce Triple Sec
  • ½ ounce fresh lime juice
  • ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 2 ounces fresh watermelon puree

Shake all ingredients together and serve on the rocks. Garnish with a watermelon wedge rimmed in black and white salt.

Want another delicious way to use watermelon in your weekend repertoire? Try this refreshing recipe for watermelon salsa.

Grilled Watermelon Salsa

Courtesy of Graham Elliot, chef/owner of Graham Elliot, Chicago, Illinois

  • 3 slices of seedless watermelon, 1-inch thick
  • ¼ cup finely minced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeño, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced lovage
  • 1 teaspoon minced chives
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly cracked pepper to taste

Rub the slices of watermelon with half of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place over a hot grill and cook for one and a half minutes on each side. Remove the watermelon from the grill. Discard the rind from the watermelon and dice the flesh into medium-sized cubes. 

Combine the cubed watermelon in a bowl with the minced jalapeño, onions, honey, red wine vinegar and remaining olive oil. Gently fold in the minced herbs and season with cracked black pepper and salt. 

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