4th of July Margarita Watermelon Wedges & Pecan Chicken Tenders Drizzled with Hot Honey + Berry Blast Cocktail

Indepdence Day is one of my favorite holidays. Very casual, no gifts to wrap, fun food, spending time outdoors. The food should be festive but casual. But, the food can be tricky. If you serve the food outside, be careful about food that will wilt or melt in the hot sun. I once spent hours preparing a beautiful appetizer to take to a potluck, just to watch it disintegrate in the 90 degree weather.

Be mindful of the insects who will enjoy the food as much as you and your guests. Flies are common at outdoor picnics and sweet foods such as honey can attract bees.

I recommend, if possible, to serve food inside. If serving outside, invest in net covers for plates and platters of food.

Margarita Watermelon Wedges

Place salad plates and salad forks or spoons in freezer to chill while preparing watermelon.
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Appetizer
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 1 inch slices watermelon
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons tequila blanco
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Cut each watermelon slice into 6 wedges.
  • Place wedges in a flat food storage container.
  • Combine lime juice, tequila, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Mix well to combine all ingredients.
  • Pour lime juice mixture over the watermelon slices.
  • Cover container tightly and refrigerate for one hour. Turn container over and shake container lightly to cover the watermelon with lime mixture. Continue to refrigerate for one more hour. Place 3 watermelon wedges on each chilled plate. Serve very cold.

Pecan Chicken Tenders

Course Main Course
Servings 44 small tenders


  • 1 3/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 pint buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 1/2 ounces chopped pecans
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons blackened seasoning
  • AR's Southern Hot Honey for drizzling (hot or mild)


  • Place chicken breasts in a pan. Cover with buttermilk.
  • Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove chicken from refrigerator and cut into 1/2" slices (11 slices per chicken breast). Cut slices in half to make tenders.
  • Place flour, chopped pecans, salt and pepper and blackened seasoning in a bowl. Mix to combine. Pour flour mixture in blender or food processor. Blend/process until pecans are incorporated into flour mixture.
  • Make egg wash with 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water. Place egg wash in a shallow bowl. Place flour mixture in a shallow bowl.
  • Dip chicken tenders in egg wash, then roll in flour mixture.
  • Place chicken tenders on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake chicken tenders for 10 minutes, remove from oven and turn tenders over with a spatula. Bake 7 more minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  • Place tenders on a serving plate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Serve tenders drizzled with AR's Southern Hot Honey.

Berry Blast Cocktail

This cocktail makes a delightful mocktail – just omit the vodka.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Drinks
Servings 1 cocktail


  • 1 muddler or wooden spoon


  • 2 large fresh strawberries, capped and cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon grenadine
  • 1.5 ounces Grey Goose Strawberry Essence Vodka
  • Fresca, chilled
  • ice
  • garnishes: strawberry, blueberries, fresh mint sprig


  • Muddle strawberries with muddler or back of a wooden spoon in a highball glass.
  • Add grenadine and vodka. Stir to combine ingredients.
  • Fill glass with ice.
  • Top with chilled Fresca and give a light stir.
  • Garnish with strawberry, blueberries and fresh mint sprig.

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