If summer had an official mascot it would be a tossup between fireflies, sprinklers, hotdogs, and lemonade. This version of the latter is rendered smoky-sweet with the juice of grilled lemons and limes and toasted simple syrup, which has a mild caramel flavor that does a lot to complement the grilled fruit. For a boozy version, tip an ounce or two of rum, tequila, vodka, or gin into the pitcher.
What You Will Need
- 7 lemons, 6 cut in half, 1 cut into wheels
- 6 limes, 5 cut in half, 1 cut into wheels
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 12 oz. cold water
- Char lemons and limes: Build a medium-heat fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium. (Alternatively, heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high.) Place 6 halved lemons and 6 halves limes flesh-side-down on grill and cook until lightly charred in spots, 30 to 60 seconds. (At this time, you could also grill the lemon and lime wheels, about 20 seconds per side.) Juice lemons and limes to yield 4 oz. each of charred lemon and charred lime juice.
- Make toasted simple syrup: Add sugar to a medium saute pan over medium heat and toast, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Add 1⁄2 cup of water, return pan to medium heat, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Do not boil or simmer. Set syrup aside to cool; it will keep for months in the refrigerator.
- In a pitcher, combine charred lemon juice, charred lime juice, toasted simple syrup, water, spirit (if using), and ice. Stir until incorporated, and serve in Collins glasses over ice. Garnish with lemon and lime wheels.