Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Charred Lemon Gin Sparkler

Charred Lemon Gin Sparkler

There seems to be two schools of thought when it comes to naming cocktails. There are the descriptive sort of names that give some information on the ingredients (i.e. Cucumber Basil Gimlet, Warm Vanilla, Olive-Rosemary Martini), and then there are those that are a bit more cute and clever (say, Sherlock & Watson, Witty Comeback, 23 Skidoo). I'm definitely a fan of the latter sort. They're much more fun.

That said, the Charred Lemon Gin Sparkler really benefits from its very descriptive name, because it lets you know right off the bat that this cocktail involves charred lemons. This was definitely a new one for me, and I immediately saw the appeal. Burning something can bring out a lot of unique flavor. Browned butter, flamed lemon peels, the caramelized top of a creme brûlée... I could see charred lemon juice being a very good thing.

Charred Lemons

And it was. This is an excellent cocktail. I love rosemary in cocktails because it's so amazingly aromatic. Even a rosemary garnish has a huge impact on the smell and taste of a cocktail. Muddling a little in yields a really delicious herbal flavor. This recipe uses it well. It's just sweet enough, letting the herbal and citrus notes shine through. Charring the lemons really does do something for their flavor; it's richer and more mellow, as the recipe promised. The result tastes extremely sophisticated.

The original recipe for this cocktail makes 12 servings; it would be a great option for big-batch cocktail for a party.

Charred Lemon Gin Sparkler

Charred Lemon Gin Sparkler

1 1/4 oz. gin
1/2 oz. charred lemon juice*
1/4 oz. simple syrup
1 sprig rosemary
1 oz. sparkling wine

Combine rosemary and simple syrup in the bottom of a shaker and muddle. Add gin and charred lemon juice. Fill the shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Double-strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

*For charred lemon juice, cut a lemon in half and place it cut-side down on a hot skillet for about two minutes. Then juice it as usual.

Recipe adapted from Serious Eats.


  1. Interesting! Some cocktails are definitely worth the extra steps. The rosemary drew me in! I absolutely love the smell and flavor of rosemary. I would take the time to char a lemon for this! Found on #FoodieFriDIY, thanks for sharing!

  2. I love this idea, what a great use of lemon!