IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Spicy Watermelon Sip

Courtesy Maureen Petrosky


Spicy Salt Rimmer (makes 1 cup)
  • 1 cup coarse-ground salt
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chile powder
Lemon-Lime Shrub (makes about 1½ cups)
  • 3 lemons
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, strained
Spicy Watermelon Sip
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 1 tablespoon Spicy Salt Rimmer (recipe above)
  • ice cubes
  • 2/3 cup fresh watermelon juice
  • 2 ounces Lemon-Lime Shrub (recipe above)
  • 1/4 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1 small watermelon slice

Chef notes

This zero-proof drink is perfect for summer sipping. It's a surprisingly fun and delicious delivery of salty, sweet and (my personal favorite) spicy. It also has a delicious tart, tangy and citrusy flavor thanks to the Lemon-Lime Shrub. If you like a spicy margarita, try this on for size. It just might become your new go-to drink.

Technique tips: It's easy to get fresh watermelon juice by simply add the flesh of the watermelon to your blender and buzzing it up. Strain to get out any seeds or pulp and enjoy. Since the rimmer has spicy salt, I like to add it to only half of the glass.


For the Spicy Salt Rimmer:

In a small bowl, combine salt and chipotle powder.

Transfer to an airtight container and store for up to 2 months in a cool, dry place.

For the Lemon-Lime Shrub:


Using a vegetable peeler, peel lemons.


Place the strips of lemon peel in a nonreactive bowl. Add sugar and stir, pressing on the peel with your spoon to help release the flavor. Cover and let stand until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has turned into a syrup. This can take anywhere from 1 hour to overnight, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.


Juice the lemons with a juicer or by hand. You want 1¼ to 1½ cups juice. (It will depend on the size and juiciness of the lemons.) Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the lemon juice into a bowl. Add vinegar and lime juice.


Once the sugar mixture is ready, discard the peels and pour the syrup into a jar with a tight-fitting lid, such as a Mason jar. Add the juice-and-vinegar mixture. Stir or shake to combine.


Store for up to 6 months in the fridge. Shrubs tend to separate, so shake well just before using.

For the Spicy Watermelon Sip:


Run the flesh side of the lime wedge halfway around the rim of a glass. Spread Spicy Salt Rimmer on a small plate. Lightly dip the rim into it, leaving one half clean — you want about 1/2 teaspoon rimmer to cling to the glass. Discard the rest.


To a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes, add watermelon juice, Lemon Lime Shrub and adobo sauce. Shake well.


Strain into the glass. Cut a small slit in the watermelon slice and place it on the rim for garnish.

Courtesy of Zero Proof Drinks and More: 100 Recipes for Mocktails and Low-Alcohol Cocktails by Maureen Petrosky © 2021 Reprinted with permission. Available where books are sold.