Do you think of cantaloupe as a filler fruit? Think again. In Chef Lili Dagan’s latest cocktail, cantaloupe becomes the life of the party. 

cantaloupe margarita
An all-natural tiki bowl

Somehow, this margarita is more than the sum of its parts. If you have a blender, the whole thing only takes a few minutes to make (ok, there’s some freezing time involved, but that just takes a little planning). At the end, you’re rewarded with a drink that’s not only refreshing, it’s downright festive.

Recipe: Cantaloupe Mint Margarita 

  • Makes 1-2 servings, depending on what kind of day you’re having
  • 1 whole cantaloupe
  • 2 springs mint, plus more for garnish
  • 2 oz tequila blanco
  • 1 oz Curaçao triple sec
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice 
  • Lime wheels, spicy salt, and mint for garnish

1. Make your cantaloupe ice cubes. Locate the stem of the cantaloupe, and imagine a line going through the cantaloupe starting at the stem. Cut perpendicular to that line. Once cut, your melon will form two bowl-shaped halves. Scoop out and discard the seeds of both halves. 

2. Use a melon baller or other spoon (if you don’t have a melon baller, a tablespoon will work well) to scoop your melon half into balls. Lay on a sheet pan. Make sure the balls don’t overlap, or they will stick. Lay sheet pan flat to freeze for at least 1 hour. 

cut cantaloupe
Cut across width-wise

3. Take the remaining melon half and scoop out the flesh. Blend with leaves from 2  sprigs of mint. Reserve the rind of the melon, intact. 

4. Place 1 tablespoon of spiced salt on a plate and roll the edge of the reserved melon rind through it. As you roll, salt should stick to the rind and form a salted rim. If it does not stick, lightly dampen the edge of the rind and try again. 

5. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add 8 oz of cantaloupe juice, 2 oz tequila blanco, 1 oz Curaçao triple sec, 1 oz fresh lime juice. Strain into the reserved melon half. Gently add your frozen cantaloupe ice cubes, some lime wheels, and a sprig of mint.

Cantaloupe margarita