Watermelon Margarita Italian Ice

June 27, 2012

in Drinks, Ice Cream, Popsicles & Frozen Treats

Ever since I made those watermelon mojitos, I’ve been dreaming about making watermelon margaritas. And as the temperatures and humidity skyrocketed last week, this thought quickly turned into an idea for a boozy frozen treat.

Watermelon Margarita Italian Ice

I was initially thinking of making watermelon margarita sorbet, but then I remembered those cups of Italian ice I used to love so much as a kid. Watermelon was always my favorite flavor, even beating out my love for everything lemon.

Watermelon Margarita Frozen Dessert

I made half of the mixture in an ice cream maker, and the other half I simply froze in a tupperware. And you know what? The ice cream maker is totally unnecessary for this recipe, unless you really, really want a margarita slush in under half an hour. In that case, the ice cream maker is where it’s at.

Frozen Watermelon Margarita Ice

The nearly one cup of tequila and triple sec will keep the margarita mixture from freezing into a solid block of ice, no matter how long you leave it in the freezer. It’s perfect for when you go grocery shopping, shove a million bags of frozen fruits and veggies in the freezer, and then bury your margarita Italian ice for the better part of a week. To think I ate fruit for dessert instead of this all last week…such a shame.

Margarita Italian Ice

I served my Italian ice in some awesome vintage dixie bowls I received as part of the Austin and Boston food blogger gift swap way back in December, but I would love to freeze the mixture in little dixie cups next time and see if I can find some of those small wooden spoons to go along with them. Minus the risk of splinters, those spoons are half the fun! I’m thinking they’d be the perfect addition to a summer BBQ.

Boozy Watermelon Italian Ice

Watermelon Margarita Italian Ice
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: approximately 6, depending on portion size
  • 2 C. Freshly Pureed Watermelon
  • ⅔ C. Fresh Lime Juice
  • ½ C. Tequila
  • ½ C. Cold Water
  • ⅓ C. Triple Sec
  • 2 Tbs. Agave
  • 2 Tbs. Maple Syrup
  • Lime Slices & Sea Salt for Garnish (optional)
  1. Add all of the ingredients to a large freezer-safe tupperware and stir them to combine.
  2. Cover and place the mixture in the freezer until frozen solid (approximately 8 hours or overnight).
  3. Scoop the Italian ice into bowls and garnish with a slice of lime and a sprinkle of sea salt if you like!
If you have an ice cream maker, you can pour the mixture in there for about 25-30 minutes (rather than putting it in the freezer) to create a a watermelon margarita slush. This would also be great poured into dixie cups and frozen, and served with those little wooden spoons that often come with traditional Italian ice. As an added bonus, it will take significantly less time to freeze this way! Finally, you could freeze it in ice cube trays and then throw a handful in the blender to create frozen margaritas. Extra shots of tequila optional!


{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) June 27, 2012 at 9:49 am

Looks beautiful! I love the soft pink.


Amanda June 27, 2012 at 9:51 am

Thanks, Kelli! It turns a really pretty darker pink as it melts too.


Gina @ Running to the Kitchen June 27, 2012 at 10:05 am

Oh man, Amanda. These look like the epitome of summer perfection. Want!


Shannon June 27, 2012 at 10:59 am

I don’t drink alcohol, but this still sounds so appealing. There’s a watermelon sorbet at an ice cream shop near my house that is killer! It’s such a good summer flavor. Especially with a hint of mint!


Amanda June 27, 2012 at 11:14 am

Watermelon mint sorbet sounds so good! I may have to try that next…


Amy @Macncheesenpeas June 27, 2012 at 11:09 am

These pictures look awesome! Love the pink and green combo.
I def want to try these for my next barbeque.


Amanda June 27, 2012 at 11:15 am

Thanks, Amy! Let me know what you think if you give the recipe a try!


Julienne June 27, 2012 at 11:35 am

Do you think this recipe would work without the maple syrup and agave? I’m avoiding all sweeteners this month, but I have to make this, like now!


Amanda June 27, 2012 at 11:45 am

Are you avoiding things like stevia too? I think it could be a little tart from all the lime juice without the sugar, but if you’re avoiding sweeteners (including stevia), you could try adding more watermelon and less lime. I think playing around with those ratios could work. :)


Michelle Collins June 27, 2012 at 2:56 pm

I’m going to be craving one of these this weekend when it’s 95 degrees outside. This looks like the perfect summer/boozy treat!


Amanda June 27, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Fingers crossed the humidity isn’t as bad as it was last week!


Riley June 27, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Yum! I’ve been craving something icy!


Amanda June 27, 2012 at 6:24 pm

I know exactly what you mean! This has just the right amount of icy-ness! :)


Amberly June 27, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Thank you so much for all of your San Francisco recommendations! I am currently sitting at an airport bar, sipping a beer, waiting for my friend to land and I got so excited when I looked your list over again! I’m ready to get this party started! ;)

It’s so rare that I have a watermelon-anything, so I’m really looking forward to trying this! Your photos are awesome, and those little bowls are adorable!

Hope you have a great week!


Amanda June 27, 2012 at 6:29 pm

I’m so glad you found my list helpful! Even though I didn’t love living in SF, I got a little nostalgic when I was thinking of all those places! It’s definitely foodie paradise, and the views are incredible. You’re going to have such a great time!


Cadry June 28, 2012 at 11:36 am

This looks like so much fun and pretty too! You’re so right about the little wooden spoons. They made you savor every tiny bite and were a big part of the experience.


Ashlae | oh, ladycakes June 28, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Here I was, thinking it was tricky to make Italian ice and you make it sound so. freaking. easy. I love the addition of liquor, too.


Amanda June 28, 2012 at 8:20 pm

It’s so simple! The alcohol keeps it from turning into a glorified ice cube. :)


jess June 30, 2012 at 10:00 pm

so lovely! i actually whipped something up much like this today with honeydew in the midst of some summer heat and it was incredible! i think i’ll definitely have to give your watermelon version a go though – that pink is just perfect.


Amanda July 1, 2012 at 8:16 am

Honeydew sounds so refreshing!


katie @KatieDid July 2, 2012 at 7:30 am

wo no this looks directly up my alley. Love tequila haha and it looks simple to make!


Claudia October 4, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Just stumbled across this recipe while looking for ideas for margarita iceblocks. No luck on that front yet (aside from one website that suggested dunking supermarket lime pops in tequila and salt), but this looks incredible. Definitely this one a whirl come summer in Sydney!


Amanda October 4, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Dipping lime pops in tequila and salt sounds pretty good! haha I hope you like the italian ice – it’s one of my favorite summer recipes!


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