Summer Melon Marg

Andrew Burton, Horse Inn | Lancaster, PA

A first-of-the-season slice of cantaloupe sprinkled with salt served as the inspiration for Andrew Burton’s elevated take on the classic frozen Margarita. “I wanted to focus on the role the salt played in that bite of cantaloupe, which led me to using manzanilla sherry for its high salinity and acidity to help cut through the sweetness of the melon,” says Burton, “and the sherry paired well with the reposado since they both share a level of salinity and aged notes.” When selecting a fresh melon for the drink, Horse Inn chef and owner Matt Russell recommends seeking out one that is fragrant with a nice heft, advising to smell right where the stem broke off from the melon.

Ingredients

Serving: 1

  • 6 ounces cantaloupe purée (see Editor's Note)
  • 2 ounce blanco tequila, preferably Tres Agaves Blanco
  • 3/4 ounce Manzanilla sherry, preferably Barbadillo Manzanilla
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 cup ice

Garnish: lime wheel

Directions
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into chilled pint glass.
  3. Garnish with lime wheel.
Editor's Note

Cantaloupe Purée:  
Cut one cantaloupe into small chunks, seeds scooped out and rinds removed.   
In a mixing bowl add the cantaloupe chunks, 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix well.   
Let cantaloupe pieces macerate until they soften.   
Combine cantaloupe, sugar and salt mixture in a vita prep or blender and blend until smooth.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer.   
Store purée in refrigerator in a sealed container for up to one week.