Watermelon Fuego


Spicy and Smokey Watermelon Fuego

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Transport yourself to a Mexican beach with this spicy and smokey cocktail!

We tried this drink in Mexico and loved it so much we recreated it home! If you are unfamiliar with mezcal, it is closely related to tequila as it is also made from the agave plant. The main difference is mezcal’s smokey flavor that comes from cooking the agave in underground pits lined with hot rocks and burning for up to 24 hours before the cooking process begins. This process of “cooking” the tequila gives mezcal a very smokey flavor. When you combine that rich smokey flavor with the light + refreshing watermelon juice, you get the perfect combination of a sweet, smokey and refreshing cocktail!

We used Serrano chili peppers, which are hotter than  jalapeño, but you can change them out depending on your preference for the amount of heat.

We enjoyed this cocktail rimmed with Sal de Gustano, known as worm salt. Yes, you read that right, and combined with ground chili peppers and salt. This is a savory rimming option, not easy to find locally but can be purchased online. We also included some of our other rimming options that you can easily make at home.

Spicy and Smokey Watermelon Fuego

Servings 1


  • 4 slices serrano chili peppers or jalapeno 
  • ounce Mezcal
  • ounce watermelon
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup or agave
Rimming Options
  • Wedge of lime
  • Gran Mitla Sal de Gustano
  • Ancho Chili Salt Rim (see below)


  • If rimming the glass, rub the rim with a wedge of lime, dip it into your rimming option, and set it aside.
  • In a cocktail shaker, muddle the slices of serrano peppers, and add plenty of ice.
  • Add the Mezcal, watermelon juice, lime juice, and simple syrup. Shake for one minute and strain into your rimmed martini glass.
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Want to add a little more heat to your cocktail rim, try our Ancho Chili Salt Rim!

Ancho Chili Salt Rim


  • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt, such as maldon sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ancho chili powder
  • tiny pinch of cinnamon
  • tiny pinch of red pepper flakes
  • wedges of lime for serving and one for prepping the glass


  • Combine all the dry ingredients on a plate that will comfortably fit your glasses when turned upside-down.
  • Working with one glass at a time, rub one of the lime wedges all the way around the rim of the glass. Turn the glass upside-down and tap into the chili salt mixture until you have the desired amount of salt around the rim. Repeat for each glass.
  • Store any remaining mixture in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
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Enjoy responsibly!

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All photos by Lorianne DeVita

by Camila Alves McConaughey