I have plenty of super cool recipes to share with you in upcoming posts, but I first want to tell you about the fabulous “GRILLED COCKTAILS” that are part of Kingsford’s 2011 “Food Trends”. Other food trends to be aware of, and I will expand upon these in future posts are:
- ‘Cued Cocktails
- Buy local, eat local
- Cook once, eat twice
- Creative cuts of meat
- Canning craze
- Food Trucks
- Embracing Discomfort food- ie, thinking outside of the box and getting outside of your cooking comfort zone.
Grilling cocktails is something I’ve never thought of before. That’s why I had to go to school to learn all this info to share with you folks. I love cocktails almost as much as I love grilling so now I’m really excited because Grilled Cocktails combine my two favorite things!
There are two themes here to the art of “cued” cocktails.
1) infusing liquor with bacon or other types of meat, smoke, etc
2) grilling the fruit, etc that will go into the cocktail.
Here’s one of my favorite recipes that we tried:
**(recipe courtesy of Marcus Wang, senior scientist for Kingsford Charcoal)
makes one 64 oz pitcher
- 6 pounds lemons, cut in half
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 rosemary sprigs (optional)
- 1 cup Four Roses Bourbon (or bourbon of your choice)
1) Dip each half of the cut lemons in sugar and set aside on a tray to be grilled.
2) Combine water, sugar and honey in a saucepan or disposable aluminum tray. Add a couple of sprigs of rosemary to the pan (this is optional but adds a unique touch!)
3) Heat up your grill to medium-high heat. For additional rosemary flavor, throw a handful of rosemary sprigs on the hot coals just before grilling.
4) Grill the lemons cut-side down until nice grill marks appear (5-7 minutes). Remove the lemons and set aside to cool.
5) While grilling the lemons, place the saucepan with the honey syrup on the grill. Heat the syrup until sugar and honey are fully dissolved giving the rosemary time to infuse the syrup with flavor.
6) Let the lemons cool then squeeze the juice into a pitcher by hand. Add syrup and water to taste, along with bourbon and ice. Stir well and serve.
After learning all of these fun grilled cocktails from the Kingsford Crew, we were challenged to break up into teams to create our own concoction. The judging consisted of Chris Lilly, Marcus Wang and other Kingsford folks.
We ended up winning the contest for our awesome drink, entitled “The Rib Job” as the cocktail includes a rib as a swizzle stick. The contest was judged based on use of ingredients, grilling the ingredients, creativity, etc. I’m so proud because there was some really tough competition from some serious foodies!
Here’s our award winning drink entitled the:
Ingredients (approximate) (4 drinks)
- 8 ounces liquor- brandy
- 8 oranges, sliced
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- rosemary springs
- 4 ribs, sliced, for the “swizzle stick”
- 1/4 cup barbecue rub to rim the glasses
Preheat grill to medium. Grill the oranges until they form grill marks. At the same time, put the maple syrup in a grill safe pot and heat on the grill with a sprig of rosemary. Let the maple syrup get hot so the rosemary can infuse the maple syrup with flavor.
Next, squeeze the juice of the oranges into a container. Add the maple syrup to taste. If the drink is tart, add a little water. Next, add ice and bourbon and shake all the ingredients in a shaker.
Dip the rims of the glasses into the rub mixture (hence, the original name of the drink, the “Rim Job”) and the drink mixture. Add a rib as a swizzle stick. Congratulations, you just had your first “rib job”.