So, my intent was to actually make grilled lemonade. We’ve started to have some really beautiful weather in DC and I couldn’t wait to get the grilling going (neither could Suz — did you SEE that grilled flank steak yesterday? YUM). I’ve also really been loving Meyer lemons lately and decided to try those for the drink. I prepped everything and went up to turn on the grill … only to find that we had no propane — ack! No worries, I pulled out my trusty grill pan and decided to try it stovetop. And it worked. Except that instead of grilling them, the shallow pan filled up with the sugary lemon juice and caramelized them. I’m actually not a huge fan of sweet drinks and this was SWEET. I tried cutting it a variety of ways and liked best when I used half caramelized lemons and half regular lemons to make the drink. And even though I intended to make a mocktail, adding an ounce of vodka to my glass on one occasion also helped (in more ways than one). I think one time I’ll try regular lemons and see how it works out. Grilled or Carmelized. Sweet or Balanced. It was pretty delicious all ways.
Carmelized Lemonade (based off of Food Network’s Grilled Lemonade)
To make a pitcher, dip the cut sides of 8 halved lemons in sugar and grill on pan until marked, about 5 minutes; let cool. Simmer 1 1/4 cups sugar with 1 3/4 cups water and a pinch of salt until dissolved; let cool. Squeeze the grilled and regular lemons through a strainer into a pitcher; stir in the sugar syrup, some ice and a few of the grilled lemons.
For another twist, try using rosemary simple syrup or to turn your lemonade into a delicious cocktail, add 1-2 ounces of vodka to each serving glass.