OK, so I really wasn’t exaggerating when I told you last time that I have been grilling EVERYTHING lately.
Even my beverages. Oh yes, I went there, and it was a glorious thing.
To be fair, the only thing that is actually grilled for this drink are the kiwis themselves, and grilling fruit is nothing new. People have been doing it for awhile now. BUT! I have to say I’m a total convert. The smoky caramelization that happens with grilled fruit is a magical thing.
Grilling fruit for cocktails is going to be my summer thang this year. I’m calling it now. The wheels are already turnin’….grilled pineapple margs, grilled strawberries for daiquiris, oooh oooh! How about grilled peaches for sangria?! Yes. It’s happening. All of it.
And we can all blame it on these grilled kiwi martinis. They are FAB. I first got the idea for a kiwi cocktail from Jessica, who made incredible kiwi margaritas a few months ago (we make them regularly – my current fav margarita recipe). I’m not sure why it seemed like such a novice idea to me. I LOVE kiwi, after all. How had I not thought to put it in a drink before?!
Once the temperatures edged 80 degrees back in early May, the grill was turned on and pretty much hasn’t been turned off ever since. On top of copious amounts of grilled bread each week, we’ve consumed burgers, pizza, veggies, and these flatbreads…all made on the grill. It was only natural that grilled cocktails would be next. Right? Right.
These martinis are a fun summer twist on the standard cocktail recipe. They are infused with the sweetness (and color!) of kiwis but with a smoky, slightly savory edge. I choose to leave the kiwi syrup unstrained because I love the look and texture of the little black seeds. If this isn’t your thing, though, feel free to strain it through a fine-mesh sieve before serving. The flavor will still be all kiwi.
Speaking of, I like to mix the kiwi syrup with plain vodka and lime juice, just so I can really stay true to the taste of kiwi, but feel free to shake things up with other booze or flavored vodkas. I could see coconut-flavored rum or tequila working really well with the kiwi syrup.
For the Kiwi Syrup:
- 4 kiwi, peeled and halved lengthwise
- Drizzle of melted coconut oil
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup sugar
For the Martinis:
- 4 oz of the grilled kiwi syrup
- 4 oz vodka
- Juice of 1 lime
- Kiwi slices, for garnish
For the Grilled Kiwi Syrup:
- Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high and lightly brush the grates with the melted coconut oil. Skewer the halved kiwi fruit and drizzle with a little more oil. Grill for 2 minutes per side.
- Heat the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer the simple syrup to a blender and add the grilled kiwi pieces. Puree until completely smooth. Chill before using in cocktails.
For the Martinis:
- Add the ingredients to a shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously until everything is thoroughly chilled. Pour into chilled martini glasses and serve garnished with sliced kiwi.