Gin and tonics, where do we begin? Our relationship with gin has been an evolving one. Years ago, we would have told you that Gin was a grandma’s drink that “tasted like pine needles”. While in London, we bellied up to a speakeasy and told the mixologist to surprise us. We both were served up gin and tonics that tasted totally different, but were equally delicious. We were floored! A year later, we visited South Africa where gin and tonic was the happening drink. We even went to a gin and tonic bar in Johannesburg with over 100 gins on the menu.
As you can imagine, our appreciation of gin has grown significantly. This spirit can take on so many different flavors and botanical essences. Through our extensive gin tasting, we’ve found that we both tend to lean towards citrus-based gins. When we make gin and tonics at home, we’re always adding lemon plus fresh herbs from our garden.
When we attended our first Austin Food and Wine Festival, we were able to do a hands-on cooking demo with Chef Tim Love. One trick we learned was to always put a lemon half on the grill while barbecuing steaks. The lemon gets extra juicy and squeezing it on your steak is a perfect way to cut into the richness of the beef. We adapted the same theory with grilling lemons for this delicious gin and tonic recipe.
Charred Lemon Gin and Tonic
Makes 2 cocktails
4 oz. gin
8 oz. indian tonic water
1 lemon, sliced
Fresh thyme sprigs
Start by bringing your grill to high heat, around 400-500 degrees. Use tongs to place the lemon slices on the grill grates. Sear for a few minutes until the lemons start to char. Remove the lemons from the grill and let them cool slightly. Fill two large goblet or wine glasses with ice, then 2 oz. of gin each. Top with 4oz of tonic water and garnish with the charred lemons and fresh thyme. Cheers!