Grilled Cocktails: Grilled Citrus Punch (With A Punch!)

What You Need

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This adventure started with a search for meatless grilling recipes. I scrolled from pizza recipes to vegetable recipes to dessert recipes and then tripped and fell into a world of cocktails I have never seen before. Who knew you could GRILL a cocktail?

Let’s be honest, you should NOT put alcohol on a grill. There are many a tale told by a bonfire about singed eyebrows and the smell of burned arm hair. You can, however pick from a limitless list of grilled ingredients to mix with your favorite libation to create sweet, smoky, tangy potions the likes of which will put the best home grill champions to shame!

Shall we dabble?

Give yourself a little time, since we aren’t simply adding powdered mix to water! 

Grilled Citrus Punch (With a Punch)


2 cups simple syrup (boil 2 cups water with 1 ½ cups sugar until dissolved) set aside to cool

4 – lemons

3 – limes

2 – oranges

2 – grapefruit

1 cup sugar

Several fresh mint leaves

Tonic Water

OPTIONAL: Your favorite vodka

Photo By C. Wilson

Let’s Get Started:

  1. Pre-heat grill
  2. Cut all fruit in halves
  3. Press fruit halves into sugar to coat (the fruit flesh, not the outside)
  4. Place fruit sugar side DOWN on hot grill
  5. Leave on grill for 4 – 8 minutes – you will want some charring and grill marks. Do not worry about perfect grill marks. Be careful not to burn yourself as the SUGAR can be like molten lava when exposed to fire.
  6. For the sake of safer handling, you should allow the fruit to cool down a smidge before juicing.
  7. SQUEEZE! I like my cast iron juice press, but any juice press will work – even your bare hands (again, don’t squeeze immediately after removing from heat). Do not worry about seeds, pulp or chunks of char at this point.
  8. Pour citrus through a strainer pressing down to make sure you have as much smoky citrusy goodness as possible.

NOTE: The liquid will look like hearty tea. You will be tempted to sample it. It will be a bit tart.

      9. In a shaker, add 3 fresh mint leaves, ice and liquids: 2 parts simple syrup, 2 parts smoky citrus goodness, and if you like, vodka to taste.

      10. Put on your favorite dancing song and SHAKE WELL! We tested several songs and found that “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins works well, “Here For The Party” by Gretchen Wilson is very good… and so is “Shake It Up” by the Cars.

      12. Pour into your favorite glass leaving room for a splash of tonic water to add a little ZING!

Photo By C. Wilson

 You should have enough for 4 martini sized drinks… or one medium fish bowl, depending on your serving style.

By the way, if for some strange reason you have any leftover citrus juice, pour it into ice cube trays and freeze it for your next cocktail hour!

Please let me know if you try this recipe or if you have another favorite cocktail you’d like to share: 

About Cat Wilson

Cat Wilson is "That Girl" on Cape Country 104 – a Cape Cod native and longtime Cape radio personality. She is a passionate supporter of Military and Veteran causes on the Cape and also hosts local music spotlight program, “The Cheap Seats” on Ocean 104.7.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
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