Watermelon Margarita with Candied Cactus

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes



Appears in

Amor y Tacos

Amor y Tacos

By Deborah Schneider

Published 2010

  • About

Watermelon (sandia) is one of Mexico’s best-loved fruits, often served with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of chile powder to bring out the juicy sweetness, or crushed with water and lime to make a favorite agua fresca. This drink playfully echoes those tastes, with a hint of mild guajillo chiles, basil to cut the sweetness and enhance the tequila flavors, and, just for fun, a sliver of candied cactus as a garnish. Look for candied cactus, or viznaga, at well-stocked Mexican markets. If you can’t find it, substitute candied watermelon rind or a triangular sliver of fresh watermelon with the green rind left on.


  • 1 lime
  • Ground California or guajillo chiles
  • 1 cup seedless watermelon cubes
  • 2 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • Ice cubes
  • ounces 100 percent agave blanco tequila


  1. Chill a large martini glass. Juice the lime and reserve the juice. Rub the rim of the glass with a piece of the lime rind and dust with a delicate layer of chile.
  2. In a shaker, crush the watermelon and basil together. Add the lime juice, agave nectar, ice, and tequila. Cover tightly and shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Strain into the rimmed glass and garnish with a thin slice of candied cactus.


Candied cactus