Prep Time
10 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 10 Mins
about 20 slices

Before biting into a sweet slice of watermelon, you should really soak it in tequila. Essentially a cocktail poured over the fruit, tequila-spiked watermelon is so much better a brunch side than a pile of the plain fruit. But don’t just freely pour hooch over watermelon. Unless you’re in the mood for a chewable shot, mix the tequila into a gently spiced lemon simple syrup. Pro tip: Make tequila-spiked watermelon at least 12 hours before serving, because the longer the fruit sits in the tequila mixture, the better it will be.

A basic sugar-and-water simple syrup gets whacked with the flavor stick in the form of lemon rind and star anise. Add a splash of tequila (and then maybe one more) to the lemony syrup, then dump the whole batch over a pan of freshly sliced watermelon wedges. Let the fruit chill in the fridge, then serve with a sprinkle of salt.

Tequila-Spiked Watermelon

Photo by Alex tepper

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How to Make It

Step 1

In a small saucepan over medium high heat, whisk together 1 cup water and 1 cup granulated sugar. Add lemon peels, juice, and star anise pods. Bring mixture to a boil, then stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Take the syrup off the heat and set aside to cool. 

Step 2

Slice a medium watermelon into 1 inch-thick wedges. Arrange in a baking dish (1 layer divided among 2 baking dishes is best, but you can double the layers of melon if you'll remember to give them a toss halfway through chilling) 

Step 3

Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve, then stir in tequila. Pour syrup over the watermelon wedges, then place in the fridge for at least 1 hour, but up to 12 for sharper flavor. Serve with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.

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