Cocktail Recipe: Tequila Watermelon Smash

From the mid-1840s until after the Civil War, the smash was America’s favorite mixed drink. Called by Jerry Thomas “a julep on a small plan,” the smash is a simple-but-delicious cocktail that emphasizes fresh ingredients, minimal preparation, and bold flavors. It’s the perfect style of drink for the summertime.

A smash is usually composed of a base spirit (whiskey, rum, brandy, gin, etc.), fresh fruit or herbs, and lots of crushed ice. It is meant to be cold and refreshing, a little liquid treat. Traditionally this was a small drink, intended to be quaffed quickly. But like most of us, it’s gotten bigger over the years.

I set out to make a drink with great summer flavors — tequila and watermelon go wonderfully together — and to ensure that anyone could easily make one at home. Nothing fancy here. But it’s still delicious.

Tequila Watermelon Smash

Tequila Watermelon Smash


  • 2 oz. Blanco Tequila
  • 1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1/4 - 1/2 oz. Agave Nectar
  • 5 oz. Fresh Watermelon (approximately 8 one-inch chunks)
  • 8 oz. Crushed Ice


  1. In the bottom of a mixing glass, muddle the watermelon with the lime and agave until well combined. Add tequila and crushed ice. Shake vigorously, then pour unstrained into a goblet or Margarita glass.