Don’t Judge Me Mondays: Smoky Lemonade

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My husband and I watch a lot of food shows, which often provides recipe inspiration for me.  Recently on The Next Food Network Star, a contestant grilled lemons and made lemonade with them.  It sounded like such a brilliant idea, I couldn’t wait to try it!

Let’s get to it!

The first order of business will be to grill the lemons.  This is going to bring out their sugars making them sweeter and also add a smokiness to the lemonade.  Turn your grill to medium heat.  Very lightly brush your lemons with the oil.  You don’t want oily lemonade but also don’t want those lemons sticking to your grill!  Vegetable or canola are good options because they don’t have much of a flavor.

Place the lemons cut side down on the grill and grill for about ten minutes or until they have defined grill marks on them and have started to soften.

Take them off the grill and let them cool.

Now squeeze your lemons and add the superfine sugar.  I used only two tablespoons but I wanted mine kind of tart.  Start there and add more sugar if you’d like it sweeter.

Stir the lemon juice and sugar together until the sugar dissolved.  Using superfine sugar will ensure this happens quickly and you don’t have all the sugar sinking to the bottom.

This recipe makes one large drink or two smaller ones, so fill your glass(es) with ice.

Now pour in the lemon juice and sugar mixture in and add the mezcal.  Mezcal is like a smokier tequila because it’s made from agave hearts that have been roasted for several days. You should be able to find it in most stores where you would buy tequila.

Top off with the sparkling water and give it a stir.

Garnish with a lemon slice if you’re so inclined.  I really like this cocktail because it’s a unique twist on a summer classic.  The grilled lemons and mezcal combine to add a lovely smoky element to the lemonade but the tartness balances it out.

If you’re interested in other mezcal cocktails, I also have this one.



Smoky Lemonade
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  • 4 large lemons cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • 2-4 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 2 ounces mezcal
  • 4 ounces sparkling water


  1. Turn grill to medium heat.
  2. Place lemons cut side down on grill and grill about 10 minutes or until they have defined grill marks and have started to soften.
  3. Remove from grill and cool.
  4. Juice lemons and add superfine sugar to taste.  Stir until sugar dissolves.  
  5. Fill glass(es) with ice.  Pour in lemon juice sugar mixture and add mezcal.  
  6. Top off with the sparkling water and stir.  Garnish with a lemon slice if you're so inclined.

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