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.
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 seriouseats.com
. 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.
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.
Remove from grill and place in a pan with a rim, to catch all the good. sweet lemon juices that are oozing out.
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.
3) Make the lemonade
Squeeze the lemons through a strainer, into a serving pitcher.
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.
4) Chill and serve
Add ice to serve; garnish with a wedge of grilled lemon, if desired.
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.
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.
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.
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.
4) Mix your drink and chill
Stir in the lime juice, simple syrup
, mezcal, and strained jalapeno tequila.
Stir in 2 cups ice, cover, and refrigerate until chilled.
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.
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 thekitchn.com
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.
Strain and chill.
2) Grill the pineapple
Grill the pineapple slices on both sides. Slice it into cubes, reserving some with the peel on for garnish.
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.
4) Mix your drink, chill or add ice and serve
Add the simple syrup, the rest of the lime juice, and the rum.
If serving right away, add the club soda to the pitcher at this time, and pour over ice-filled glasses.
Otherwise, 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.
Over to You
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