Smokin’ Rosemary Lemon Drop
This is a lovely, well-balanced cocktail with just the right amount of smoke, bitter, sweet, and herb. It’s all about balance. Not too much of any one component.
Juice from 1 grilled lemon
Juice from 1 smoked lemon
1 torched, muddled rosemary sprig
¾ ounce simple syrup
2 ounces gin
Burnt rosemary sprig and slice of grilled lemon, for garnish
Grill the lemon
Cut 1 lemon in half; cut one thin slice from one of the halves and reserve for garnish. On a hot grill, place the lemon slice and lemon halves cut side down, and char until the lemon starts to brown and caramelize, about 4 minutes. If your grill isn’t hot enough, leave the lemon on a bit longer and remember that char equals flavor. Place in a container to cool.
Press the grilled lemon
When cool, squeeze lemon halves with a citrus reamer or press. The pulp will be somewhat soft so it helps to then push the pulp through a fine-mesh strainer to capture and remove any of the pulp itself. Keep in container until ready to assemble the cocktail.
Smoke the lemon
Add 1 lemon, halved, cut side up, to the smoker; place over foil to catch the accumulated juices. Once you see the first whiff of smoke, smoke for about 15 minutes. Place in a container to cool.
Press the smoked lemon
When cool, squeeze with a citrus reamer or press. The pressed juice of the smoked lemon will be more pulp than juice, so it helps to then push the pulp through a fine-mesh strainer to render the juice. Keep in container until ready to assemble the cocktail.
Torch the rosemary
Using a kitchen torch (same kind that you’d use for a crème brûlée), burn the ends of 2 fresh rosemary sprigs. Set one aside for garnish and add one to a cocktail shaker, and muddle.
Construct the cocktail
Combine ice, gin, the juice from both lemons, simple syrup, and shake vigorously. Pour through a strainer into a coupe glass. Garnish with the burnt rosemary sprig and the slice of grilled lemon.
Just before serving the cocktail, using the smoking gun, holding a bowl or domed glass over the cocktail, pipe some smoke over the top and capture the smoke by removing the smoke tube and lowering the dome over the cocktail. Hold in place for a minute before removing. Serve smoky.
No. 10 / Fall 2019