Fire Up All Your Summer Parties With These Grilled Cocktails

 

When you’re cooking out this summer, go beyond hotdogs and hamburgers. Take your summer sips to the next level by adding some smoke. Grilled garnishes are a fun way to deepen the flavor of your drinks—and impress your party guests. When you muddle grilled fruits or vegetables into the base of a drink, you weave in a warm, bold flavor that is quintessentially summer. Keep reading for tips on how to grill your cocktails to perfection!

 

  • Experiment with everything that isn’t booze. Our favorites are citrus halves, slices of jalapeño peppers, grapefruit wedges, pineapple rounds, and watermelon slices.

  • Choose fruit that is ripe but not too ripe, so that it still holds up on the grill.

  • The acidity of citrus makes them extra complimentary to smoke, so they are great as a garnish. For an extra caramelized flavor add them as a juice or infused syrup.

  • To achieve the perfect grill marks without burning your ingredients, keep the grill hot but make sure the coals aren’t flaming. If you’re using a gas grill, keep the burners on low. Check on your ingredients every 30 seconds to make sure they aren’t ashy.

  • Have a pair of long tongs on hand for easy fruit transference.

  • Use a mini-smoke box to smoke more delicate ingredients like berries and herbs.

  • Let your glassware rest upside down over a burning wood-chip on a glass plate for more smoldering flavor.

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on your grapefruit halves, then grill until caramelized. If you’re making Citrus for Breakfast, grill the grapefruits before juicing to bring out the sweet notes of the grapefruit to complement the savory notes of the caraway, coriander and thyme syrup.

Grilled peppers are a great addition to margaritas. We like adding extra spice to the Hibiscus Jalapeno Margarita.

Planning on shaking up a Golden Margarita? Grill the pineapple garnish for a rich smoky complement to the turmeric agave.

Don’t just stop at grilling garnishes. Throw your watermelon on the coals for a smoky sweet snack. Brush both sides of the watermelon with the olive oil. Grill for about 5 minutes, until the melon gets slightly soft. Finish it off with a sprinkle of sea salt!

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