Throughout my 10+ years of making homemade cocktails, one lesson I've learned is the magic of liquor infusions. You can quickly and creatively use ingredients to level-up your at home cocktails and give them something extra special. This watermelon infused tequila recipe is a perfect way to enjoy the flavor of sweet watermelon in any tequila cocktail of your choice!
This recipe was inspired by my watermelon simple syrup recipe. I had half a watermelon left, and remembered how well my jalapeño-infused tequila and my strawberry infused tequila turned out. The rest is history! Peak watermelon season is the perfect time to make this flavorful, fruity tequila! Looking for a cocktail to make using this tequila? Try this easy watermelon ranch water recipe!Jump to Recipe
💕 why you'll love this watermelon infused tequila recipe
🍉 bursting with melon flavor. Think of every reason you love the flavor of watermelon, but in liquid tequila form. Fruity, summery, and fresh!
🙌 simple technique. Making this fresh fruit tequila infusion is oh-so simple, and the majority of the time it takes to make the recipe is hands off!
🤩 impressive & inventive. Get ready to wow your friends and family at your next gathering with your ingenious use of watermelon and tequila. You can literally just add soda water and you’ve got a delicious cocktail!
- watermelon - You’ll need half a small fresh watermelon for this recipe. I like using smaller melons for this infusion. They are easier to cut and are much more flavorful than larger melons. The best part is that you can use the other half of the melon to make a batch of watermelon simple syrup.
- silver tequila - Silver tequila, or blanco tequila, has a much more versatile flavor profile than gold or aged tequilas, also called reposado or anejo. Since we want the main flavor of the tequila to be strawberry forward, silver works best for this!
Gold tequila has been aged which gives it a mellow flavor, but it also can add flavors depending on how it was aged. Reposado tequila is aged for a minimum of two months, and anejo tequila is aged for a minimum of one year.
🍉 how to choose the best watermelon
Watermelon does not ripen after it is harvested, so what you see is what you get. That’s why it’s important to pick the most ripe watermelon you can at the time of purchase. Here are some tips for picking the best melon:
- color and shine - if a watermelon is dark and dull, it is ripe and ready to eat! If it’s shiny and bright, it’s not yet ripe.
- field spot - you may have noticed that watermelons have a “field spot” on them, this is where the watermelon sat on the ground as it was growing in the field. If the spot is yellowish or orangey, it is ripe and ready to eat. If it’s light and white, it won’t be as sweet and ripe.
- weight - the heavier a watermelon is relative to its size, the riper and juicier it will be.
Step 1: Slice your watermelon in half to make it easier to trim the rind off of your melon.
Step 2: Trim the rind off the watermelon.
Step 3: Cut the watermelon into 1-inch cubes.
Step 4: Place the cubed watermelon in a large glass jar.
Step 5: Pour the bottle of tequila overtop of the watermelon cubes in the jar. Save the tequila bottle for storage after you’ve strained the watermelon to minimize needing containers.
Step 6: Seal the jar to make sure it is airtight.
Step 7: Give the jar a gentle swirl or shake every other day, and give it a taste until it is to your liking. This can take anywhere from 2 - 5 days. I liked the taste of mine after two days, but my dad opted to infuse his for three days.
Step 8: Once the tequila is at your preferred taste, strain out the watermelon chunks by pouring the contents of the jar through a fine mesh sieve into a large measuring cup. Then, you can discard the watermelon.
Step 9: Pour the watermelon tequila back into the original bottle, or another storage jar, and seal it shut.
Step 10: Use your tequila in any cocktail that you'd use tequila in, like watermelon margaritas or watermelon ranch water!
Hint: This recipe is very easy to scale up or down, so you can make exactly as much tequila as you need! Unlike in other infusions, because of the high water content, he watermelon will actually add volume to the tequila infusion.
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💡tips & tricks for getting it right
🍽️ serving tips
Serve this tequila in any cocktail you would use tequila in. Here are some ideas for how to use it!
- watermelon margaritas - replace regular tequila with this watermelon infused tequila! You can also add some jalapeño slices to the cocktail shaker for spicy watermelon margaritas!
- watermelon palomas - watermelon sweetens sometimes bitter grapefruit in a classic paloma!
- over ice - pour some this tequila in a cocktail shaker, strain over a large ice cube and serve it with a twist of lime for a low-calorie cocktail!
- watermelon ranch water - classic ranch water gets a summery watermelon twist in this recipe!
ℹ️ troubleshooting tips
Even though this recipe is only two ingredients, things can go wrong! Infusions can be a little tricky to get the hang of, so try these troubleshooting tips if things don't pan out quite right.
- infusion time - Make sure to taste your tequila as it ages through the infusion process. For years, I thought longer infusions = better infusions, but that’s not the case. In fact, the longer you let something infuse, the more likely it will be too intensely flavored. When left to infuse for a week or more, the flavor can start to get way too intense and almost perfume-like. Stick to around 3- 5 days for the perfect flavored tequila, but you can push it up to a week.
- spoiling - If you aren’t using your watermelon-infused tequila right away, store it in the fridge to keep it from spoiling. Yes, the alcohol does preserve it to some degree, but because we are dealing with produce, which can spoil, it’s better for longer-term storage to refrigerate it.
⚖️ scaling tips
This recipe can easily be scaled up or down.
- half batch - If you are making a half batch, simply cut the amount of the ingredients in half. Keep in mind, you will lose some volume of tequila because the strawberries absorb it, so add about ¼ more tequila than you think you will need.
🔆 top tip
If you want to experiment, save your watermelon rinds and infuse water with them for up to two days in the fridge. It’s a nice spa-like treat that makes use of the scraps that may otherwise be thrown away!
♻️ substitutions & variations
Missing an ingredient? No problem. Check out these tried-and-true substitutions, or comment below with your question. I’m here to help you troubleshoot!
- tequila - you can use gold tequila if it’s all you have. You may want to lessen the infusion time to 2 days, or stick to 3 or 5 depending on your preference. Make sure to taste the tequila each day until it reaches the watermelon flavor you like.
- rum, gin, or vodka - other silver or clear liquors can also be infused with watermelon flavor! Try rum, gin, or vodka!
Feeling like a rebel?! 😈 Feel free to stray from the recipe card using these variations, or leave me a comment with your own!
- watermelon-mint - add in a handful of fresh mint leaves for a watermelon-mint flavored tequila!
- tropical - add in tropical fruit like pineapple, mango, or kiwi for an extra beachy vibe.
- spicy - add in a few jalapeño slices 8-24 hours before you use the tequila for a sweet and spicy kick. Do not infuse jalapeños for more than 24 hours, though, or it’ll be way too spicy. If you want to skip the heat but keep the pepper flavor, remove the membranes and seeds from the pepper. Check out my recipe for jalapeño infused tequila here!
🧰 equipment needed & storage tips
🧰 tools needed to make infused tequila
- 1 extra large glass jar - Large glass jars are the best way to infuse liquor! For this recipe, you’ll need a jar that can hold at least 50 ounces, or 6 cups. I love using large Weck jars because they have a wide mouth and are easy to get watermelon slices in and out of. This large jar from Ball also works very well! You can use two smaller jars, or cut the recipe in half if you don’t have a large enough container. I’ve even used a zip-top bag in a pinch. 😛
- chef knife - You’ll need a chef knife to trim and chop your watermelon easily.
- cutting board - Additionally, you'll need a cutting board. This set is similar to the bamboo set I have, and it's useful to have several sizes.
- fine mesh strainer - you’ll need a mesh sieve to strain the watermelon out of the tequila once it’s done infusing.
If you are going to be using the tequila within a week or so, you can store it out of direct sunlight in a cool dark place, unrefrigerated. Otherwise, store it in the fridge to maximize freshness and flavor.
This watermelon infused tequila will keep stored in the fridge for up to 6 months. It will actually keep indefinitely, but the flavor will start to deteriorate. You can also keep it in the freezer if you like!
You can use it however you’d use regular blanco tequila. Mix up some watermelon margaritas, watermelon ranch water, or watermelon palomas! You can also enjoy it simply over ice with a twist of lime.
While the amount of time will vary based on your personal preference, I’ve found the best infusion time to be around 3-5 days. That means you can put this recipe together on a Monday and be enjoying watermelon tequila by the weekend!
Technically, yes, but I wouldn't recommend it. For the best watermelon flavor, use blanco tequila, or silver tequila for this infusion. You can use gold tequila, or reposado, but I wouldn’t advise using añejo tequila, or aged tequila. Tequilas that have been aged already have flavors to them.
When stored in the fridge or freezer, your tequila will last up to 6 months. While it does technically last forever when store properly, the flavor will start to degrade after 6 months. I recommend storing it in the fridge because it does contain perishable ingredients. The alcohol content alone is not high enough to keep it from spoiling.
If you make this recipe, please leave a review in the comments and a star rating!
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Watermelon Infused Tequila
- 1 large glass mason jar 64 ounce capacity
- 1 large glass measuring cup
- 1 chefs knife for chopping melon
- 500 grams seedless watermelon, trimmed of rind and cubed about 3 cups of cubed watermelon, or half a small melon.
- 750 mL blanco tequila 1 bottle, also called silver tequila
- Slice your watermelon in half to make it easier to trim the rind off of your melon.
- Trim the rind off the watermelon. This helps keep the flavor to more of a single note, instead of adding in the flavor of the rind.
- Slice the watermelon and cut it into cubes.
- Place cubed watermelon in a large glass jar.
- Pour the bottle of tequila overtop of the watermelon cubes in the jar. Save the bottle for storage after you’ve strained the watermelon to minimize needing containers.
- Seal the jar to make sure it is airtight.
- Give the jar a gentle swirl or shake every other day, and give it a taste until it is to your liking. This can take anywhere from 2 - 5 days. I liked the taste of mine after two days, but my dad opted to infuse his for three days.
- Once the tequila is at your preferred taste, strain out the watermelon chunks by pouring the contents of the jar through a fine mesh sieve into a large measuring cup.
- Discard the watermelon.
- Pour the watermelon tequila back into the original bottle, or another storage jar, and seal it shut. Store it in the fridge for up to 6 months.
🧯food safety & other information
Food safety is an important ingredient in any recipe for success! Here are some tips to keep you safe in the kitchen!
- Always enjoy alcohol responsibly, and never give alcohol to anyone under 21 years of age. For more information about responsible alcohol consumption, click here.
- Use caution when cutting watermelon, especially when trimming the rind off of the melon. Be sure to cut it in half first, then lay the flat side down to trim the rind off so that it’s not rolling around on the counter top. Also, make sure your knifes are sufficiently sharpened. It can actually be more dangerous to use a dull knife in the kitchen than a sharp one. Read more about knife safety here.