That’s right, grilled cocktails. You love the smokey flavor some time over the fire adds to your meat and chicken, so why not get the same delicious flavor in your drinks, too?
When I was at Kingsford U this past weekend, they introduced us to the art of ‘cued cocktails: drinks that include grilled and smoked ingredients. And I’m not talking about using a rib as a swizzle stick (which we definitely did, but more on that in another post), I’m talking about using fresh citrus and smokey syrups that have had some time over charcoal heat.
The result is a drink that not only has rich, intense, smokey flavors, but also pairs perfectly with the food you’re barbecuing. Below you’ll find recipes for Grilled Lemonade and Smokey Southern Sangria. Each feature Four Roses Bourbon, which adds a completely different dimension to the drinks, but for a virgin version of the Grilled Lemonade, you can leave it out for those who are driving but still want to enjoy.
And these should give you some inspiration to come up with your own grilled version of drinks. I’m planning some Hickory Smoked OJ to pair with my bacon and eggs breakfast tomorrow.
Recipe by Marcus Wang, Senior Scientist, Kingsford Charcoal
Makes: 1 64 oz pitcher
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
6 lbs of lemons (About 16 lemons)
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of honey
2 rosemary sprigs (optional)
1 cup Four Roses Bourbon
1. Cut the lemons in half and dip the cut half in the sugar. Set aside in a tray to be grilled.
2. Combine water, sugar, and honey in a saucepan or disposable aluminum foil tray. Add in a couple of rosemary sprigs. (Optional, but delicious.)
3. Heat up a grill with Kingsford charcoal to medium-high heat. For additional rosemary flavor, throw a handful of rosemary sprigs on the hot coals just prior to grilling.
4. Grill the lemons cut-side down until nice grill marks appear (about 5-7 minutes). Remove the lemons and set aside to cool.
5. While grilling the lemons, place the saucepan with honey, water and sugar mix on the grill. Heat until the sugar and honey are fully dissolved and it becomes a syrup, and the desired amount of rosemary flavor has been infused into the syrup.
6. When the lemons are cooled, squeeze the juice into a pitcher. Since they’ve been grilled, they should be easy to squeeze by hand. Add syrup and water to taste, pour in some Four Roses Bourbon and add ice. Stir well and serve.
Smokey Southern Sangria
Recipe by Josh Perry, Pican Restaurant mixologist
Makes: 7-8 drinks
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups water
6 chipotle peppers, coarsely chopped
6 oz Four Roses Bourbon
12 oz Seghesio Zinfandel (or any good red zin… NOT white zin)
12 oz soda water
1. Build a fire in your grill using Kingsford charcoal for indirect cooking. To do this, build a two-zone fire by pushing all the coals to one side of the grill, leaving the other side void.
2. To create citrus smoked juice, cut lemons and oranges in half and place them on a disposable aluminum pan or foil. Then place them on the void side of the grill for at least 30 minutes, making sure to keep the grill temp at 225 F with the lid closed. Remove the smoked fruit from the grill and let cool. Then juice until there are 4 oz of smoked orange juice and 2 oz of smoked lemon juice. You’ll reserve the unsqueezed smoked citrus for garnish.
3. While citrus is cooling, combine brown sugar and water in a meduim pan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Add chipotle peppers and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
4. Once the brown sugar-chipotle syrup has had a chance to cool, combine the Four Roses Bourbon, Seghesio Zin, 4 oz smoked orange juice, 2 oz smoked lemon juice and 3 oz brown sugar-chipotle syrup in a resealable and shake well.
5. To create the Smokey Southern Sangria, transfer the mixture to a pitcher filled with ice. Add soda water, stir and serve. Garnish with slices of remaining slices of smoked oranges and lemons.