Melon Baller: Jim Meehan's Take on a Watermelon Margarita


I like the idea of a watermelon margarita. But you can't really substitute watermelon for lime juice—it just doesn't have that acidity. And sure, you could add watermelon on top of the lime juice, but to me, that's kind of like making a banana daiquiri. Is it a tasty drink? Sure. But should you do it? Out of principle, probably not. Also there's the issue of strength. People tend to think of the margarita as a light and refreshing drink, but between the tequila and tripe sec, your typical margarita can be stronger than a Manhattan. So I like the idea of adding tequila to something traditional and quite light, like aguas frescas. These are the natural sodas of Mexico, typically made with watermelon, hibiscus, or tamarind. I operate on the "what grows together, goes together" principle, so adding tequila to a traditional Mexican beverage just makes sense.

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Happy Hour: PDT's Paddington

Paddington cocktail


Start your weekend early with this whimsical riff on the Hemingway Daiquiri made with a spoonful of orange marmalade, the fictional Paddington Bear’s treat of choice. Created by David Slape of New York City's famed PDT, which took home our inaugural Outstanding Bar Program award in 2012, the drink balances the punch of its absinthe and rum base with delicate, floral notes of Lillet Blanc and a bright twist from fresh lemon and grapefruit juices. Get the recipe here.



Elena North-Kelly is senior editor at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

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Recipe Roundup: Cocktails


Toast to warm-weather entertaining with one of these refreshing and decidedly grown-up cocktails from some of our favorite mixologists.


Inspired by the legendary sacrifice of a beautiful Oaxacan princess, this citrusy, Mezcal-based cocktail was created by Julian Cox of Rivera in L.A. The rim of chopped chapulines (grasshoppers) is strictly optional.


A touch of the famous bear's beloved orange marmalade rounds out this absinthe and rum cocktail from David Slape of New York City's PDT, which took home our inaugural Outstanding Bar Program award in 2012.


Chill your cocktail glasses ahead of time to keep this gin lovers' drink from 2012 Outstanding Bar Program nominee... Read more >

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Recipe: PDT's Paddington Cocktail

The Paddington cocktail from New York City's PDT


Inspired by Paddington Bear, this cocktail from New York City's PDT, one of the bars nominated for our new Outstanding Bar Program award, is flavored with a spoonful of orange marmalade (Paddington's favorite); its bitterness is kept in check by the honeyed notes of Lillet Blanc and the tropical, spicy character of white rum . Get the recipe here

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