You can strain this smoky take on a summer classic, but, as it turns out, a little pulp and a few floating bits of char in your lemonade can be a good thing.
For a charcoal grill, Heath Hall of Pork Barrel BBQ recommends using 100 percent hardwood charcoal, in lump or briquette form, to promote smoky flavor.
Make Ahead: The rosemary lemon simple syrup can be refrigerated for up to 1 month.
Servings: 3.5 - 4 quarts
- For the simple syrup
- 3 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 4 stems rosemary
- Finely grated zest of 2 lemons (at least 3 teaspoons)
- For the lemonade
- 14 lemons, cut in half
- 12 cups chilled water
- 16 rosemary sprigs, for garnish
For the simple syrup: Combine the sugar, water, rosemary and lemon zest in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring just to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 30 minutes to create an infused simple syrup. Cool completely; strain and discard the solids.
For the lemonade: Prepare the grill for direct heat. If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high (450 degrees). If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them evenly under the cooking area. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for about 4 or 5 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames. Lightly coat the grill rack with oil and place it on the grill.
Place the lemons cut sides down on the grill. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until they are slightly caramelized and showing a little char. Transfer to a plate, cut sides up. Cut 4 of the lemon halves into wedges (for a total of 16).
When cool enough to handle, squeeze the remaining lemon halves to yield about 2 cups of juice.
Transfer the lemon juice to a very large (at least 14-cup capacity) pitcher, then add the rosemary lemon simple syrup and the cold water, stirring to mix well.
Pour the lemonade into glasses filled with ice. Garnish each with a sprig of rosemary and a grilled lemon wedge.
From Hall, pitmaster at the soon-to-be-open Pork Barrel BBQ in Del Ray.
Tested by Julia Beizer .
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