• J. M. White

Watermelon Basil Margarita (Behind Closed Doors)

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a long time now, but for some reason, I always put it on the back burner. In my last book haul, I finally picked up a copy. And I have to say, I wasn't disappointed.


Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris is the definition of a domestic thriller. I was immediately intrigued by the novel’s tag line: The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie? Who wouldn't be? Let’s face it, this theme (a woman marrying a man she never really knew) has been done before. Even in my own domestic thriller, Shattered. But as many authors know… it’s not the theme itself, but what you do with it. Themes have been recycled since the beginning of time, but if you can own your version and make it unique, people will never tire of it. And that’s exactly what Paris did with this novel.


What's the Plot?

The story follows the lovely couple Grace and Jack. They have everything: a loving marriage, a big house, money. But if you scratch the surface, things aren't quite what they seem. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say there are bars on the upstairs windows, and Grace’s husband may not be who everyone thinks he is.

Scary or Nay?

I was disturbed, shocked, and angry while reading this—all the emotions you want to feel with a good thriller.


“I don't suppose I could have a whiskey instead of the wine, could I?"
"Whiskey?"
"Yes."
"I didn't know you drank whiskey."
"And I didn't know you were a psychopath. Just bring me a whiskey”
-B.A. Paris (Behind Closed Doors)

Whatcha Drinkin'?

To quell the anxiety this novel evokes, I suggest pairing it with a Watermelon Basil Margarita. I went for Mexican food the other day, and when I saw this cocktail on the menu, I knew I had to recreate it. I’m obsessed with watermelon and fresh basil. So, what could be better than combining them in this amazingly refreshing margarita? The recipe below yields a pitcher because margaritas are best with friends, but it’s easy to adjust the recipe for just one or two drinks.


I saved half of the watermelon/basil juice in the fridge to use the next day and found it kept just fine. For all my “I hate tequila” people out there, I bet this would taste fantastic with a vodka substitute or even white rum. I haven’t tried it yet, but let me know if you do.


Watermelon Basil Margarita

Yield: 8 servings

Total Time: 20 minutes

What You Need:

  • ¼ cup sugar

  • ½ cup water

  • ½ cup packed basil leaves (plus more for garnish)

  • 4 cups watermelon cubed

  • 1 cup silver tequila

  • 1 cup lime juice

What you do:


For the Basil Simple Syrup:

  1. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan over low/medium heat. Stir frequently until dissolved.

  2. Add basil leaves, remove from heat, and let steep for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile…

For the Margarita:

  1. Place watermelon cubes in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer or colander into a pitcher with ice.

  2. Make sure basil simple syrup is room temperature then strain syrup into the pitcher, removing basil leaves.

  3. Add lime juice and tequila to the pitcher. Stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon.

  4. Garnish with basil if desired. Serve immediately.


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© 2018 by Jeanette White.