Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Seersucker Thursdays

It's summertime and it's a Thursday, which can only mean one thing: Seersucker Thursdays are in effect on Capital Hill! During the Summer session, the U.S. Senate shows up on Thursdays in puckered pastel suits to beat the heat, a tradition which started in the late 1990s. I guess they couldn't find a big enough veranda to sit out on and drink sweet tea, which is another Southern summer survival tactic.

Seersucker is woven with a peculiar combination of tight and slack threads of thin cotton originating from 18th century India. The strange word itself is a mangling of Hindi's "shir shakkar," meaning "milk and sugar," a perfect description of the fabric's smooth and rippled textures. To make the fabric, two kinds of looms are involved; one weaving tightly and one loosely. That shifting creates tiny ridges of bunched threads, so that the fabric is almost held away from the skin. Heat dissipates, sweat evaporates, air circulates, and, one would hope, an idea may penetrate.

Like how Thursdays are also the the perfect day to drink watermelon margaritas, my new summer adult beverage obsession.

The first batch I made was so delicious I felt compelled to go door to door around my neighborhood and hand out samples. It's not everyday someone knocks on your door and hands you lovely libation. I even begged my friend Karen to drive to my house in rush-hour traffic to have one. Even my cat loved it!

I'd like to point out that today is a Thursday, so I'd highly recommend swinging by a fruit stand or market and picking up a watermelon to create this most refreshing cocktail. Donning seersucker is entirely up to you, but this drink would really complete the outfit and I'm sure would pump up the cooling effect.

Cheers, to your first of many watermelon margaritas! Because, trust me, you can't have just one of these beauties.

Watermelon Margarita (from Martha Stewart)

In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water, along with 3 wide strips of orange zest, to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until sugar dissolves, 3 minutes. Let cool.

In a blender, puree 2 cups cubed watermelon until smooth. Strain through a sieve, pressing solids, into a pitcher or quart-sized mason jar. You should have approximately 1 cup of juice. Add the sugar syrup, 1/4 cup lime juice (from about 3 limes), and 3/4 cups white or silver tequila. I got closer to 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cup juice from my watermelon, so you may have to add a bit more lime juice and tequila to even it out. And taste-test it several times (what a burden).

Fill salt-rimmed glasses with ice, then pour margarita mixture over top. Garnish with a lime wedge and keep the pitcher nearby. You'll definitely be wanting a refill! Yields: 4 servings, so might as well make a double!


  1. Purist that I am, I cringed when I saw that you were desecrating watermelon with foreign ingredients; however, knowing that you would not steer me wrong, I made your watermelon margarita, and it was divine--the perfect summer drink!

  2. I'm a big fan of seersucker, which you just don't see very often in NYC. And I can't think of a better thing to drink while wearing it than this watermelon margarita. So refreshing!

  3. I made these last night for a weekday treat for my neighbors...What a hit! But a recipe for 4 servings - so silly. I took your advice and quadrupled it! Thank you for sharing Holley~

  4. I can't imagine anything more delightful to sip at a beachside resort or poolside, wearing my favorite bikini! Thanks for this amazing recipe and when next summer rolls around, this is one of the first I will be pulling out to try!

  5. Speaking of margaritas-yesterday we made the most delicious and frugal for a crowd margaritas. We had one Jose Cuervo bottle from their six pack-bought it for the holidays for a friend who can have only certain liquids.

    We shopped at Costco a day previous and I bought a box of gorgeous looking mangos.I halved around the seeds and cross-hatched and removed the fruit from both and then went back Nd scraped for every other remnant of fruit. Put all this in the Cuisinart, added a generous amount of ice and lastly the premixed margarita mix. And blitzed the bowl full of mango loveliness till I. Heard and saw no cubes or chunks. Well let me tell you those were the best ever mango margaritas ever and it made 3 1/2 drinks.

    So try that next time you need summer drinks for a crowd but want the best !

    Mary Kay in Indiana

    P.S. And let me suggest a great read: The Secret Between Us by Barbara
    Delinsky-it's a super page-turner we are reading for our "Dinner and a Book" book club. Plus on the reverse cover the author points you to her website offering to appear at your club's meeting or to's a Randon House book.