Summertime means outdoor parties, throwing some food on the grill, and enjoying refreshing cocktails. But have you ever thought about combining grilling and cocktails?
For this recipe, I take the Classic Margarita and transform it into Grilled Peach Pitcher Margaritas. It has all the flavor you love in a margarita—Blanco tequila, lime juice, orange liqueur, and simple syrup, but with the added intensity of rich, sweet, summer peaches. You could make this for one, but the idea is to serve a crowd, so I made it big batch size for summer entertaining.
Many fruits—especially summer stone fruits—are transformed by a quick stop at the grill and this grilled peach margarita is no exception. The sugars caramelize and the peaches break down into sweet, syrupy soft mounds that can be easily muddled into drinks. That deepened intensity takes cocktails into wild, new flavor territory.
Grilled peaches have a rich, syrupy taste that is balanced by the assertive tang of lime juice, and the tequila rounds it all out with an earthy sweetness from the agave with hints of citrus.
If you’re firing up the grill, it’s so easy to make some room for a few peaches. And I hope that by reading this you’ll want to grill all your summer fruits from here on out!
Tips and Tricks for Grilling Peaches
Give your peaches a good head start on the grill before adding them to your drinks with these tips and tricks.
- Use fresh, firm peaches. Overly ripe peaches can collapse and fall through the grill grates. That also goes with frozen peaches, as you may find that defrosted slices are too limp.
- Do not skip the oil when grilling (or even baking) the peaches. You need this lubricant to make sure you’re not leaving more peach on the grill than what’s going in your pitcher.
- Be sure to grill your peaches ahead of time! You’ll want to do this step regardless as they’ll need to cool fully before getting added to the drink. However, you can also grill these up and store in the refrigerator up to 3 days prior to making the drink.
No Grill? No Problem!
Not everyone has access to or even desires to have a grill. But that shouldn’t stop you from getting some sweet, caramelized flavor out of your peaches.
Cast Iron Grill Pan: One option is to use a grill pan instead. I have a cast iron grill pan that has been my go-to for years when I just can’t bother to fire up the grill. It may get a little smoky indoors though, so remember to turn on your exhaust fan and/or open a window or door. On the stove top, oil the same as the outdoor grill, and set your burner to its highest setting. Once the pan is hot, add peach slices, turning once after 3 to 4 minutes. They will be softened, but not fall apart squishy when done.
Oven Roasted Peaches: And if grilling just isn’t for you, an oven is your next best bet. Crank up the heat to 450°F, coat the peaches with some oil and lay them on a baking sheet covered in foil and let them roast for 15-20 minutes until they’re softened and browned.
To Strain or Not to Strain Your Margarita
Since this cocktail is served up pitcher style, I recommend a wide-mouth pitcher, as peach chunks can clog up a smaller spout. Serve drinks in double rocks glasses as you’ll need to accommodate some ice in there as well.
If you don’t want peach chunks in your cocktail, no problem! Make this pitcher drink the night before you want to serve it (and hold it in the fridge) which will allow the liquid to infuse with the grilled peach flavor. When you’re ready to serve it, strain the peaches out.
How to Garnish Grilled Peach Pitcher Margaritas
With the addition of grilled peaches to this spin on a classic margarita, you have a few options for garnishes.
Like a salted rim? That works here! You can sweeten it up a bit too with a lightly sugared rim. I like to use a fine sugar instead of the larger crystal granulated sugar you might use for baking.
Also, a peach slice on the rim of your glass, grilled or not, signals to your guests what’s the main flavor of the cocktail. And if you like to keep it simple, it’s perfectly acceptable to skip the garnish altogether.
An Easy Make-Ahead Party Drink
Do you like a cocktail you can pull together ahead of time? Me too.
Grill and Freeze: Bought too many peaches? Grill them up, cool, and place in a zip top bag, and then freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use, defrost in the refrigerator overnight and then proceed with the recipe.
Prep for the Party: If you just want to work a few days ahead of time that’s fine too. As mentioned above, peaches can be grilled up to 3 days in advance, stored covered in the fridge, and then added to the cocktail.
You also can make the entire drink the day before and refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve. Give it a stir, and then let guests help themselves.
Grilled Peach Pitcher Margaritas
Peaches can be grilled up to three days in advance. The entire cocktail can be made a day in advance and refrigerated until ready to serve.
3 ripe peaches
1 tablespoon neutral, high-heat oil, like avocado or canola
20 ounces blanco tequila
10 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice from about 12-15 medium limes
7 1/2 ounces orange liqueur
5 ounces simple syrup
Salt or sugar for rimming glasses, optional
Preheat your grill:
For either a gas grill or charcoal grill you will be creating a two zone fire to cook the peaches over indirect heat.
For a gas grill: Light one burner on high, close the lid, and wait until the thermometer reaches 325°F.
For a charcoal grill: Heat your coals, and then push them all onto one side of the grill using a high-heat spatula or tongs.
Prep the peaches:
While the grill is heating, wash and halve the peaches, removing pits and discarding them.
Grill and cool the peaches:
With a paper towel, rub oil on the grill grates and using heat-safe tongs, place the peaches on a hot grill over indirect heat (not on the flame side).
Grill the peaches until they have charred grill marks and are very soft, but not falling apart, This should take about 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time.
Remove the peaches from the grill using tongs and let fully cool. The peaches can take up to one hour to cool.
Make the cocktail:
While the peaches are cooling, combine the Blanco tequila, lime juice, orange liqueur, and simple syrup in a large spouted mixing glass.
When the peaches are fully cooled, add them to the liquid and mash them with a wooden spoon or masher. You’re looking for small chunks of peaches throughout the liquid.
Transfer everything into a serving pitcher.
First, if you desire a salt or sugared rim for your glasses, rub a lime slice around the rim of the glass. Then gently but firmly roll the outside rim in either salt or fine sugar crystals.
Add fresh ice into the double rocks glass or wine glass and pour in the margarita.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 8 to 10|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 2g||2%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||1%|
|Total Carbohydrate 21g||8%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
|Total Sugars 19g|
|Vitamin C 14mg||69%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|