Grilled Cocktails: Smoke & Firewater

What You'll Need

Grilled Lemonade
  • charcoal or gas grill
  • cutting surface and good kitchen knife
  • cookie sheet
  • Pitcher for mixing
  • citrus juicer
  • small saucepan
  • measuring cups
  • strainer
  • serving glasses
Sandia en Fuego
Grilled Pineapple Mojito
Grilled Lemonade
  • 16 lemons, halved
  • 5 cups water, divided
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • ice
Sandia en Fuego
  • 1 jalapeno, halved legnthwise
  • 3/4 cup tequila blanco
  • 3 cups cubed watermelon (Leave it in slices to grill, and cube it after grilling. Depending how you slice it, it’s about 6 or 8 thick slices of watermelon.)
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 6 tablespoons simple syrup
  • 1/4 cup mezcal (gold tequila may also be substituted)
Grilled Pineapple Mojito
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bunch fresh mint (about 1 1/2 cups tightly packed) divided
  • 6 slices of fresh grilled pineapple, about 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 1/2 cups light rum
  • 1 liter club soda


Yes, you read that right.

We all love the barbecue for meats and veggies, and, if you haven’t done so already, it’s time to open your heart (and your palate) to the glory of barbecued fruit. In cocktails and mocktails, in cool glasses full of ice, on hot summer evenings, grilled fruit refreshes, surprises and delights. The sugars caramelize on the grill. the smoke infuses warmth and flavor, and the addition of syrups, herbs, and sometimes alcohol blends the whole concoction into a deliciously sippable treat.

When grilling fruit, it’s best to use a hot grill, maybe even one that is too hot to reliably cook meats and veggies without burning them. This works out super well, because while the grill is warming up for the main cooking event, the drinks can begin to flow. Keep in mind that these fruits do not need to be cooked straight through, but just need a little char and some carmelization of surface sugars. Win/win.
Cheers, friends.

Grilled Lemonade

Non alcoholic, but does it suffer from a splash of clear spirit? We think not, and yet we leave that decision entirely up to you. This recipe has been adapted from Makes about 7 cups



1) Grill the lemons and rosemary

Spread the sugar on a cutting board or cookie sheet, and dip each of the lemon halves into the sugar, cut side down. Reserve the remaining sugar; you will use it to make a simple syrup.
carmelized lemons on the grill
Place the lemons on the grill, cut side down, until partially browned. Place the rosemary over the top of the lemons; it will crisp and pick up some smoky flavor without being in direct contact with the hot grill surface.
grilled lemons
Remove from grill and place in a pan with a rim, to catch all the good. sweet lemon juices that are oozing out.
fresh lemonade with rosemary

2) Make simple syrup

In a small saucepan, combine 2 cups water, honey, rosemary, and the sugar left over from dipping the lemons. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.

rosemary simple syrup

3) Make the lemonade

Squeeze the lemons through a strainer, into a serving pitcher.

grilled lemonade
Strain the rosemary from the simple syrup, and add it to the lemonade. Add an additional 3 cups of cold water, and stir to combine. Add additional sugar or water to taste.
mixing lemonade

4) Chill and serve

Add ice to serve; garnish with a wedge of grilled lemon, if desired.
cold lemonade

Sandia en fuego (Watermelon on fire)

This cocktail is sweet without being cloying, with the perfect amount of heat from the jalapeno. It is smoky and fiery and pink and surprising and wonderful. Adapted from a recipe in Bon Appetit, 2011. Makes 8 servings.


1) Infuse tequila with your jalapeno

Scrape seeds, stems, and veins from the jalapeno into a pint jar, reserving the green flesh for garnish or other uses.
remove seeds from jalapeno

Add the tequila and let infuse for at least 15 minutes. Allow the tequila to infuse as you grill and process the melon, then strain the seeds from the tequila and discard the solids. 
jalapeno infused tequila

2) Grill the melon

Grill the melon slices over high heat on the grill, until the outside has changed texture and acquired some black char lines from the grill. Cut the slices into cubes, removing the green rind.
grilled watermelon

3) Muddle the melon

Place the melon cubes in a serving vessel. Using a muddler, potato masher, or your own bare hands, coarsely crush the watermelon. You may also use a food processor for this step, if a smoother texture is desired. 

muddled watermelon

4) Mix your drink and chill

Stir in the lime juice, simple syrup, mezcal, and strained jalapeno tequila.
simple syrupwatermelon cocktail Stir in 2 cups ice, cover, and refrigerate until chilled. 

5) Serve

To serve, fill glasses with ice and pour the cocktail over it, watermelon chunks and all. Garnish with grilled watermelon and a slice of jalapeno.
summer cocktail

Grilled Pineapple Mojito

Cool, minty, and refreshing, the mojito is a classic summer drink. The original, which hails from Cuba, does not contain pineapple in any form; we feel that they may just overlooked it. It is a fantastic addition to an already fantastic drink. You may with to reduce the amount of sugar in this recipe, if you want a little less sweetness; the pineapple contributes more sugar than you’d think. This recipe is adapted from one found on



1) Make your simple syrup

In a small saucepan, make a simple syrup. Combine the sugar, water, and half the mint, setting aside a few leaves for garnish. Simmer over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
mint simple syrup
Strain and chill.
mint syrup

2) Grill the pineapple

Grill the pineapple slices on both sides. Slice it into cubes, reserving some with the peel on for garnish.
grilled pinapple

3) Combine and muddle

In a large pitcher, combine most of the pineapple, the rest of the mint, and a splash of the lime juice. Muddle well to release the flavors (and juices!) from the pineapple and mint.
crushed pineapple cocktail

4) Mix your drink, chill or add ice and serve

Add the simple syrup, the rest of the lime juice, and the rum.
pineapple cocktail
If serving right away, add the club soda to the pitcher at this time, and pour over ice-filled glasses.
pineapple drinkOtherwise, chill. The club soda can be added to the whole pitcher, or poured into individual glasses as they are filled. So as not to lose the sparkle, you know. Sparkle is very important.
sparkling pineapple drink

Over to You

It’s part of our mission here at Mountain Feed to help you make delicious, sustainable, homemade food more often. Stop by and say hello on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Or, as always, you can do it the old fashioned way and come by the store to speak with one of our in-house experts.