DRINK OF THE WEEK: Pepe’s Watermelon Margarita

NIK BLASKOVICH/NEWS-PRESS
NIK BLASKOVICH/NEWS-PRESS

Hey, Pepe’s! Long time no see! We were checking out one of our favorite bookstores in Goleta (Left Coast Books, fyi) and wanted a drink and maybe some Mexican grub and decided to stop by Pepe’s, located just around the corner. We had forgotten two major things about the place: Its bar is warm and friendly, and the bar food is super affordable. (We felt miles away from downtown. How many miles? About $10 worth.)

And there’s a summer cocktail menu to try, with bartender Jamie Brofeldt pouring us some selections, being very chatty, and just very enthusiastic. There’s a new mojito to order featuring Bacardi light, lime and simple syrup. It’s delicious and it made it through the rough audition process at Pepe’s, where even things like an Orange Cosmo were called “too fancy.”

But our favorite drink to make the cut was the very basic Watermelon Margarita. Watermelon is a hard fruit to mix: too subtle or too fibrous a lot of the time, plus people expect the Jolly Rancher kind of flavor. But Pepe’s blends up several a day and we think the owners know how to pick ’em, because this simple mix of El Jimador Blanco, lime and watermelon juice was just perfect for spicy food, good books or those late-summer days we’re enjoying. It’s our Drink of the Week!

WATERMELON MARGARITA
2 ounces El Jimador Blanco
1 ounce lime juice
3 ounces watermelon juice

Shake ingredients over ice and pour into lowball glass, with a salt rim if preferred. Garnish with lime wedge. Bartender’s note: To make watermelon juice, place several chunks in blender and blend. Depending on melon, strain roughly to take out some of the fiber if there’s too much. Store in fridge (more fiber will settle too.)

Yield: 1 drink

PEPE’S MEXICAN FOOD
254 Orange Ave., Goleta 967-0313 or www.pepessb.com

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