The Patillarita Cocktail

The Patillarita Cocktail

by Bartender Roger Villamarin of Quinta del Carmen

At the outdoor bar on the front patio of the beautiful 1918 traditional cunucu house, Bartender Roger Villamarin is muddling fresh watermelon for this take on a classic margarita before the dinner rush starts.

— Photography: Kenneth Theysen

“Every week we make special cocktails, always with fresh fruit and not a lot of sugar – and whenever we put watermelon in the cocktails, it’s a hit,” he says. Over the course of the more than two years that he’s worked at Quinta del Carmen, that’s a lot of watermelon. In addition to fresh watermelon, a watermelon-rosé syrup adds a tangy fruit flavor to this perfectly balanced sweet-and-sour drink. Villamarin’s tips include using seedless watermelon and any tequila you like. You can also replace the triple sec with Grand Marnier, the rosé with pink Zinfandel and the salt rim with a sugar rim.

“I’m very proud to work here,” says Villamarin. “After the first sip, if you smile, I know my colleagues and I are doing a great job.” With a drink like this, there will be plenty of smiles.

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The Patillarita Cocktail
Makes 1 cocktail

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2 oz. fresh watermelon, plus more for serving
1 ½ oz. tequila (Patrón Silver)
1 oz. Grand Marnier or triple sec
1 oz. fresh lime juice
2 oz. watermelon-rosé simple syrup
1 small triangle of watermelon, for garnish

  1. Muddle 2 oz. of fresh watermelon in a cocktail shaker.

  2. Add the tequila, Grand Marnier, lime juice and watermelon simple syrup.

  3. Prepare a tall glass by running a wedge of lime around the rim and dipping into a plate of salt. Clean the salt from inside the glass so the salt is only on the outside.

  4. Add ice and a small handful of cubed watermelon to the glass.

  5. Shake the cocktail with more ice and strain the drink into the salt-rimmed glass. Garnish with a wedge of watermelon.

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Blend 2 oz. watermelon with 2 tbsp. sugar and 2 oz. rosé, then strain.

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