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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

El Grado Watermelon Margarita

The Frio Group in 2009
A few years ago, I was introduced to the Gonzales family of Victoria, Texas.  Not only are Ben and Belinda Gonzales and their family some of the most open-armed, kind-hearted people I have ever met, but they can make one mean margarita.  Ben and Belinda are amongst other owners of El Grado Tequila, an ultra premium tequila that will make a tequila drinker out of anyone.
Brad Getz, Jacob Gonzales, Belinda Gonzales, Ben Gonzales, and me at the TCU  v. Baylor game in 2010
Seeing as I did some promotional work for the company, I could tell you about how one can detect a hint of mint, vanilla, and even slight black pepper in the blanco... or the smoothness of the reposado... or the amazing tastes of honey/caramel mix in the anejo (my personal favorite), but, instead, I am going to brag on one of the most unusual margaritas you will ever have.  Ben made these for us at the Frio River in the summer of 2009, and I have looked forward to watermelon season each year since.  They are a fresh, fruity, fun twist to a traditional margarita, and they are sure to be a hit at your next cookout.  Go pick up your bottle of El Grado and get to blendin'.

Abbie and an El Grado Margarita
El Grado went big time in 2009, when they signed as the Valero Alamo Bowl spirits partner AND joined up with Patrick Demsey (mmm... McDreamy) and Demsey Racing for the season-ending grand prix in Miami.  Despite their success, the Gonzales family has remained true to their genuine, down-to-earth roots.   Cheers to you, Ben, Belinda, Julie, Jacob, Matt, and Amy- thank you for El Grado and the good times had with it.

El Grado Watermelon Margarita Copyright: El Grado Spirits
Servings: 4 (4 small margaritas, 2 large ones)

Watermelon Margarita

  • 4 c watermelon cubed *I prefer fresh watermelon, but you can pick some up in the salad section at the grocery store if you're not lucky enough to live in watermelon country
  • 1/2 c fresh lime juice
  • 1 c contrieau
  • 1 c El Grado Blanco
  • 1/4 c simple syrup (boil 1/8 c water, dissolve 1/8 c sugar in the water, allow to cool until thick- bam! simple syrup)  *you can add more or less to taste, but always use equal parts sugar to water
  1. Scoop watermelon and remove seeds
  2. Puree watermelon in blender
  3. Mix in lime juice, contrieau, El Grado Blanco, and simple syrup- blend well
  4. Pour over ice or freeze- garnish with a wedge of watermelon

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