Make the most of juicy, ripe watermelons in this margarita with a twist. The basil salt rims add a earthy note, balancing the sweetness of the watermelon. It's endless summer in a tumbler.




Skill level

Average: 3 (13 votes)


  • ½ cup basil leaves
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes 
  • 1 lime wedge 
  • 600 g roughly chopped seedless watermelon (about 1/4 with rind) 
  • 8 large basil leaves 
  • 240 ml tequila 
  • 80 ml lime juice (2-3 limes) 
  • ice cubes

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Arrange the basil leaves on a baking tray and bake until very dry and crisp but not burnt, about 10-15 minutes. Pound the basil leaves using a mortar pestle until coarsely ground, then add the salt and continue to pound until combined and very finely ground. Transfer to a plate.

Run the lime wedge around the rim of 4 tumblers, then rim with the basil salt.

Working in two batches, muddle the basil leaves and watermelon in a cocktail shaker until juiced. Add the tequila, lime juice and ice cubes and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Pour into the prepared glasses.

Serve with turkey chilaquiles.


Photographs by Benito Martin. Styling by Jerrie-Joy Redman-Lloyd. Serving board from Koskela, Cutlery from The Country Trader, Ikea platter.