1st & 2nd July 2017. Bristol Harbourside.

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Grilled Lemonade

We went to Kansas City for the 2014 American Royal and were lucky enough to be be invited to the Kingsford Charcoal opening party to hang out with barbecue royalty.

Things got blurry quite quickly and we put that solely down to the delicious, tangy, smoky-sweet, bourbon-laced, grilled lemonade they were serving up by the gallon. We loved it and have upped the game a little with the addition of fresh ginger and mint. Bourbon is our spirit of choice here, but this recipe also kicks ass with rum. Or try adding a glug of triple sec.

Makes 2 Litres

INGREDIENTS

For the ginger stock syrup:

  • 200g white sugar
  • 400ml water
  • 2cm piece of ginger, sliced very thinly or blitzed in a blender

For the lemonade:

  • 250g soft brown sugar
  • 3kg lemons, halved
  • 250ml bourbon
  • 1.5l water
  • 1 handful of mint leaves, plus extra to garnish
  • slices of lemon, to garnish

METHOD

1. First make the ginger stock syrup. Put the sugar and ginger in a saucepan with 400ml water, stir until mixed together and bring almost to the boil. Reduce the heat and gently simmer over a medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. (It is worth making a large batch of the ginger stock syrup. It will keep for several weeks stored in an airtight container in the fridge?.)

2. To make the lemonade, pour the brown sugar into a small baking tin and push the lemons, cut-side down, into it until evenly coated. Place the lemons on the grill, sugar-side down, over direct heat for 3–4 minutes until the sugar caramelises but do not let it burn or it will become bitter. For even more flavour, add a couple of smoke-wood chunks to the coals whilst the lemons are cooking. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Squeeze the lemons through a strainer into a large bowl. Discard the skins and any pips.

3. Strain the ginger from the stock syrup and add 200ml of the syrup to the bowl and mix well. Check for sweetness at this point and add honey, if needed.

4. Now add 1.5L of water and bourbon

5. Half fill a pitcher with ice and the mint leaves. Top up with the grilled lemonade and stir well. Serve in rocks glasses over ice, garnished with a sprig of mint and a slice of lemon.