Grill-to-Glass Drinking

Grilling season has arrived. And at Salt – a restaurant where the kitchen crew works hand in hand with the folks behind the bar – that means grilled fare is just as likely to end up in your glass this summer as it is on your plate.

When fresh fruit spends time over charcoal’s toasty embers, its bright color and tart flavor get traded out for smoky, savory elements. A quick squeeze, and the deeply nuanced juice is now perfect for mellowing the pucker-up character of lime juice and taming renegade rum in a classic daiquiri. For Salt’s Pisco Punch, viscous grilled pineapple juice turns this classic summer sipper into an accessible, tropical port of entry for drinkers unfamiliar with Pisco, a Peruvian spirit made from grape brandy.

Wanna try this at home? It’s easy. Whether using limes, lemons or chunky pineapple slices, simply cut the fruit in half, place the cut side on a grill and let it cook for about 3 minutes, being careful not to burn the fruit. Once you run the grilled fruit through a juicer or reamer, the juice will keep in the fridge for 2 days. For the tastiest results, brush the grill grates with a little vegetable oil before you get started to keep the fruit from sticking. You also want to rub olive oil on the skin side of the fruit – a trick that “pulls up the flame and pulls up the smoke [into the fruit],” explained Salt bar manager and co-owner Matt Obermark. “They get really sweet and smoky. Everyone is into smoke these days.”