Hey, it’s almost officially Memorial Day weekend! Which, for most people means three consecutive days off of work, grilled everything, and lots of drinking. While I totally endorse all that shit, let’s not forget this is a holiday meant to honor those who have died serving our country so we can all sit around stuffing our fucking faces, getting hammered, and acting like all-around jackasses. So, if you’re going to get drunk this weekend, that’s awesome. Just at least pour one out for the people we’re supposed to be memorializing. Maybe just don’t pour out this particular grilled lemonade cocktail. Pour out, like, warm Miller Lite or something.
Okay, so now that that’s out of the way, let’s get back to this grilled lemonade cocktail. Yes, it would be tricky to grill an entire cocktail. But it’s pretty easy to grill at least one element of it — in this case, the lemons — especially once you have the grill going. You just cut the lemons in half, dip them in some sugar, and put them over the fire until they have a nice char. Then, you mix the juice with whiskey and simple syrup. The end. (Oh, but speaking of grilling, here’s a thing I wrote for Bon Appetit about grilled eggs.)
Aside from just being fucking cool, this really is one of my favorite cocktails. It’s tart, it’s sweet, and it’s boozy. Plus, it’s super easy to scale. Because it calls for two parts grilled lemon juice, two parts whiskey, and one part simple syrup, you can make just one, or you can whip up a huge batch for a cookout. And because it’s so simple, it’s great for mixing ahead of time and taking to a party. In fact, it tastes better after the flavors have had some time to hang out together for a while in the fridge.
I’ve made this with regular lemons and Meyer lemons, and they’re both great. But if you have Meyer lemons, use those. They’re a little sweeter than regular lemons, which never hurts a citrus-based cocktail. You can plan to get about 1/4 cup juice out of each grilled Meyer lemon, but don’t count on that exact measurement.
Grilled Lemonade Cocktail
Cut the lemons in half. Dip each half in sugar and grill the halves, fruit side down, over high heat until the sugar has charred on the lemons, about 2 to 4 minutes. When the lemons have cooled, juice each one.
To make the cocktail, mix two parts grilled lemon juice with two parts whiskey and one part simple syrup. Stir well and serve over ice. That’s fucking it. BOOM. You’re welcome.
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