Citrus Is the Weirdest But Best Thing You Haven’t Grilled Yet

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

Grilling is always a fun way to cook outdoors and add some smoky flavor to your food, but you don’t have only fire up the grill at mealtimes. In fact, one of my favorite ways to use the grill is for happy hour — some grilled shrimp dipped in cocktail sauce, cut-up slices of sausage to nibble on with spicy mustard, and — surprise! — grilled citrus for cocktails.

Why bother grilling citrus? Grilling adds a subtle, smoky flavor and makes the fruit extra-juicy. Plus, sliced of lemon and lime just look plain gorgeous with their vibrant colors and grill marks.

(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

Grilling citrus for drinks is as easy as it sounds — cut up limes, lemons, or oranges into slices or wedges, then throw them onto a hot grill until grill marks appear on both sides. I like to take the extra step of dipping the citrus in a little bit of sugar before grilling to add a bit of caramel flavor, but that step is totally optional.

(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

Once the citrus comes off the grill, I let them cool off a bit and juice them, muddle them, or use them as garnish in drinks. I like to grill citrus for sangria, mojitos, and caipirinhas, but they’d also be good in a tall, icy glass of lemonade or iced tea.

And don’t be afraid to branch out and grill other fruits. Grilled pineapple or stone fruits are fun to use in cocktails too!

Bonus Tip! Take grilled lemons beyond cocktails — squeeze them over grilled seafood or add a wedge to your seafood kebabs before grilling!

5 Recipes to Try with Grilled Citrus