While your charring vegetables on the grill and enjoying the warm weather this weekend, you’re going to get thirsty. It’s easy to fill the cooler with rosé and IPA, but maybe it’s time to get a bit more creative to keep the drinks flowing and the BBQ guests happy. Make this Memorial Day weekend boozier with some of the following recipes.
½ a small pineapple, peeled and sliced into ½-inch thick planks
2 tsp canola oil
2 tbsp sugar
2 limes cut into eights
1 small bunch of mint, stems removed and discarded
8 oz light rum
16 oz seltzer, chilled
Garnish: additional mint sprigs
Heat a grill to medium-high. Brush both sides of pineapple slices with oil and grill, turning occasionally, until lightly charred at edges and fruit is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool to room temperature. Roughly chop fruit.
Divide pineapple, sugar, limes, and mint equally among four large glasses. Muddle until mint is mashed and fruit releases its juices. Add rum and muddle to incorporate, and then fill glasses with ice. Divide seltzer between glasses, stir gently to mix. Garnish with mint sprigs.
2. Smokey Beer Sangrita
Ingredients for sangrita base:
½ tsp harissa, or more to taste
8 oz tomato juice
6 oz freshly squeezed juice from about 2 grapefruits
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 oz freshly squeezed juice from about 2 oranges
2 oz freshly squeezed juice from 2 to 3 limes
Coarse smoked sea slat
4 oz sangrita base
4 oz India Pale Ale
For Sangrita Base: In a pitcher, whisk together harissa, black pepper and tomato juice. Add grapefruit juice, orange juice, lemon and lime juice. Stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 8 hours maximum.
For Each Cocktail: Wet the rim of a highball glass with grapefruit wedge, dip moistened edge in smoked sea salt. Add ice and 4 ounces of the sangrita base. Top with 4 ounces of IPA. Garnish with grapefruit wedge and serve.
3. Hibiscus Rum Cooler
1 cup loosely packed mint leaves (about 30 leaves)
4 tbsp simple syrup
½ cup juice from about 4 lemons
4 ½ cups brewed hibiscus tea, cooled
1 cup aged rum
½ cup chilled club soda
6 mint sprigs
Place mint leaves and simple syrup in bottom of a lidded pitcher. Juice lemons and add lemon juice, cooled hibiscus tea, and rum to pitcher. Add 1 cup ice, stir and cover. Continue to step 2, or refrigerate for up to 6 hours.
When ready to serve, add club soda, stir gently, and pour into ice-filled serving glasses. Garnish with mint sprigs if desired.
4. Grilled Peach Whiskey Sour
2 medium peaches, halved, pits removed
1 tsp canola oil
2 oz lemon juice, from about 2 lemons
8 oz bourbon
16 oz tamarind soda, such as Jarritos
Garnish: 4 lemon slices
Heat a grill over medium-high. Brush peach halves with oil and place on grill cut sides down. Grill, turning occasionally, until fruit is soft and charred at the edges, but not falling apart, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool.
Remove and discard peach skins, coarsely chop fruit and transfer to a small pitcher. Add lemon juice to peach mixture. Muddle until fruit is completely broken down into a rough puree (or puree with an immersion blender). Add bourbon and a cup of ice cubes and stir until mixed.
To serve, divide mixture between 4 ice-filled glasses. Top each glass with tamarind soda, serve with lemon slice garnish.
5. White Peach Sangria
3 ripe white peaches, pitted and cubed
6 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp juice from 1 lemon
9 (3-inch) sprigs rosemary, plus more for garnish if desired
3 cups dry white wine
6 oz London dry gin
Combine the peaches, sugar, and lemon juice in a large pitcher. Stir to combine and tuck in the sprigs of rosemary. Let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes for the peaches to release some of their juices.
Add wine and gin, stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to overnight.
Serve garnished with a fresh sprig of rosemary if desired.