Charred Citrus Margaritas

Add a whiff of smoke to your margaritas with grapefruit, oranges, and tangerines that have been charred on the grill.

Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
45 mins

The intense heat of the grates from the grill caramelizes the the natural sugars in fruit and creates complex, bittersweet notes — and a more intriguing cocktail. The smallest pinch of fine sea salt perks up the flavor of the charred fruit, and freshly squeezed lime juice adds essential brightness. The steely flavor of blanco tequila works nicely here, but the grilled juices can hold their own with the rounder flavors of reposado tequila or smoky mezcal.


  • 4 large navel oranges, halved

  • 2 grapefruits, halved 

  • 2 tangerines or satsumas, halved 

  • Pinch of fine sea salt 

  • 8 ounces (1 cup) silver tequila (such as Don Julio Blanco)

  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) Cointreau 

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, plus more for rim of glass

  • Chili-lime salt (such as Tajín Clásico Seasoning), for garnish


  1. Prepare a charcoal grill for two-zone cooking, and build a medium-high fire, or heat a gas grill to high. When the coals are glowing red and covered with a layer of fine gray ash, carefully wipe preheated grates with a lightly oiled paper towel. Using a grill brush, scrape the grill grates clean, then carefully wipe with a lightly oiled towel again.

  2. Grill citrus, cut side down, until nicely charred, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a spatula and a decisive thrust, transfer the citrus halves to a baking sheet, and set aside to cool, about 20 minutes. Juice fruits, reserving a few whole orange slices for garnish. Combine charred citrus juices in a measuring cup (you should have about 3 cups). Add a pinch of sea salt, and stir to combine.

  3. To make 1 drink, fill a cocktail shaker with ice, and add 1/4 cup tequila, 2 tablespoons Cointreau, 2 tablespoons charred citrus juice, and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Shake vigorously to combine. Dip the rim of a rocks glass in lime juice, and dip into chili-lime salt. Strain cocktail into prepared rocks glass filled with fresh ice, and garnish with a slice of grilled orange.

    Charred Citrus Margaritas
    Antonis Achilleos
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