We know you're all good hosts. When you're grilling for a crowd, you make sure there's an option for vegetarians, you procure adequate numbers of forks and paper plates, and you definitely never run out of charcoal or propane. But what do you do when it comes to drinks?
You should certainly stock up on refreshing beer and the most delicious affordable wine you can find, but why not embrace the grilling theme a little further? These six delicious drink recipes all include fruit that caramelizes and gets a little smoky on the hot grates of your grill. Give 'em a try this weekend.
Grilled Pineapple Mojito
If you've never put fruit on the grill, pineapple is an excellent place to start. It has a lot of surface area to get nice grill marks on, it never dries out, and the heat brings out the fruit's sweetness. We love grilled rum-soaked pineapple and served for dessert, but the combo also makes a delicious variation on the mojito, thanks to the addition of fresh mint and lime.
The Jewel of Oaxaca
Creamy Champagne mangoes (also called Ataulfo mangoes) are even better when the sweet fruit is caramelized on the grill. Here they're mixed with two sources of smoky flavor: ancho chili peppers and earthy mezcal. It's a vibrant drink brightened with fresh lime.
Non-boozers often don't have a ton of interesting options at a party, but this recipe is perfect for impressing your teetotaling friends (and encouraging the cocktailians to slow down a bit). Each lemon half is dipped in sugar, then grilled until nicely browned before being squeezed. Rosemary and honey add intriguing flavor to the mix.
Grilled Peach Whiskey Sour
There are some people who feel that whiskey is a winter drink, and those people are missing out. Bourbon, with its hint of sweetness and vanilla-laced flavor, is fantastic with summer fruit. Peach halves get luscious and juicy on the grill, ready for a whiskey bath and the cool, tart fizz of tamarind soda.
Grilled Summer Smash
This cocktail makes the most of even less-than-perfectly-sweet nectarines. Grilled alongside a handful of cherries, the fruit gains a deeper, richer flavor that's just right for muddling with thyme and mixing with aged cachaça.
Grilled Tomato and Toasted Chili Cocktail
If your experience with tomato drinks is limited to the Bloody Mary, put this one on your cookout menu. Guajillo peppers (toasted on the grill) and Worcestershire sauce boost the deeply savory flavor of mezcal, and grilling the tomatoes helps concentrate their sweetness. Serve this one with steak or burgers.