It’s almost that time again folks, to gaze upwards into the night sky to see (and hear) boisterous pops of red, white & blue brilliance dance across the dark blue blanket and flutter down like glitter dust. When picnic tables everywhere are full of plates piled high with hot and juicy barbecued meats, icebox pies and traditional sides and hopefully, you are among friends tossing back a few adult quenchers much like this spiked watermelon agua fresca. We recommend you try sipping on this cooling recipe that critically-acclaimed chef, global restaurateur and cookbook author, Richard Sandoval shares with RMFR (also available at his spot, La Sandia in Denver), that’ll help you beat the heat and might just place a little more independence in your 4th of July handheld.

“You’ll see big and colorful jars of aguas frescas (frest fruit juices) for sale at every Mexican outdoor market, and the watermelon flavor is always a favorite,” says Sandoval. “Here it is, jazzed up with tequila. Salud!” 

Celebrate July 4th with this ruby-hued refresher.


by La Sandia
Yield: Serves 1



  • 1/4 cup simple syrup
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice


  • 1 cup diced seedless watermelon


  • 2 1/2 oz fresh watermelon juice
  • 1 1/2 oz homemade sweet & sour mix
  • 1 oz 100% agave tequila blanco
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • 1 lime wedge or watermelon wedge, for garnish


Make the homemade sweet & sour mix, never buy store bought! Shake simple syrup, fresh lemon juice & fresh lime juice together. Set aside.

Make fresh watermelon juice. Puree 1 cup (150g) diced seedless watermelon in a blender. Strain it in a fine mesh sieve over a bowl. You should have about 2/3 juice. The watermelon juice can be refrigerated in a covered container for up to a day.

Fill a cocktail shaker and highball glass with ice. Add the watermelon juice, sweet and sour mix, tequila & triple sec. Cover the shaker and shake it well. Strain the agua fresca into the highball glass over ice. Garnish with lime wedge or watermelon wedge.

**Happy hour alert: Check out the epic patio at La Sandia with an All Night Happy Hour starting on Wednesday, July 3, through Sunday, July 7, from 4 p.m. until close.

*All images courtesy of La Sandia Restaurant