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Local Libations: The Melon Melange Margarita

2011 September 9

By Brianna Bain (with proxy help from Sarah Maine)

The internet is an amazing thing, it is the thing that makes RecipeRelay possible – two people on opposite sides of a continent, designing and managing a website together – amazing.  The thing about the internet though, is that it is powered by electricity – no electricity, no internet.  So it is that we find ourselves an interesting position on Thursday evening – Brianna: in San Diego, mid post, with no power, Sarah: in New York, hanging out watching back episodes of Entourage, with electricity to spare.

I, this is Sarah talking now, barely registered it when I saw reports on Twitter of brownouts in San Diego from @PaniniKathy.  I actually thought “Oh, she lives in San Diego, I wonder if I might run into her when I go and visit Brianna, that would be neat.”  Yup, ridiculous, I know.  9 pm rolls around on the East Coast and a text pops up from Brianna – no power in San Diego county, possibly until Friday afternoon (CNN is reporting that power has now been restored to all affected residents).  Brianna warned that Local Libations may have to wait until Saturday, not a huge deal but… since no one was in any imminent danger, we figured we could still find a way to make it happen on schedule.  Through a combination of text messages and dropped cell phone calls, Brianna gave me the gist of what she wanted to cover in her post.  I’ll do my best to honor her intent, and hopefully when she gets back online she can add a few notes of her own.  This one goes out to the 1.4 million people who lost power yesterday in Southern California, we hope that you weathered the night with no significant incidents.

CLICK HERE for the full post and recipe.

For this iteration of a margarita, inspired by Pete’s Watermelon Sage Margarita, Brianna went searching for some new options in the organic tequila department.  She was disappointed to find little change since her earlier efforts – her research revealed only a tiny number of distilleries making tequila from sustainably grown agave, those that were available were not distributed in the San Diego area (but you may have more luck in Arizona, New York, New Jersey and Illinois!).  So, she returned to Casa Noble Blanco Tequila, a character in several earlier Local Libations concoctions.  The pepperiness of the you tequila makes a good partner for sweet and juicy late summer melons.

This is a drink made up of simple ingredients: two types of local organic melon (cantaloupe and honeydew from San Diego County and from Mexico), a Bearss lime from a backyard tree, tequila, and honey.  Commonly, melon margaritas are made using Midori and sour mix, resulting in a drink that is heavy on the sugar.  To avoid a sugary outcome, Brianna used some local honey with an interesting pedigree.

Yael, a friend a colleague of Brianna’s at Urban Plantations works with a partner to rescue bees who have taken up residences in inconvenient locations such as walls and compost piles.  Capturing and relocating a hive of bees is a delicate task that requires knowledge and skill, one that is vital in maintaining populations of local pollinators.  You can read more about the role that bees play as pollinators and the threats that they are facing here.  Yael harvested the honey from a renegade bee hive situated inside the wall at the home of a friend, and brought some to Brianna as a gift.

Finally – Brianna reports that this combination of simple, local ingredients is delicious, enjoy!

The Melon Melange Margarita

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

Tools: blender, melon baller


  • 2 oz tequila
  • 2 slices melon, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup lime juice (add more if you like it extra lime-y)
  • 2 teaspoons honey


  1. Put everything in the blender
  2. Blend!
  3. Pour into a glass, garnish with a slice of honeydew and a sphere of cantaloupe.
  4. Admire the exuberant frothiness, and drink!

Note – Harder melons might not be so melon baller friendly, in that case use a knife to make the garnish.

Brianna is a seasonal food enthusiast who spends her time helping to share good food stories as Co-founder and Editor of RecipeRelay, and growing organic food for local San Diego restaurants as a Farm Manager with Urban Plantations.

Sarah A. Maine is a Co-Founder & Editor of RecipeRelay, on most Sundays she can be found spreading the good news about organic produce at the Monkshood Nursery farm stand at the Jackson Heights Greenmarket in Queens, NY.  Find her on twitter @smainiac.