Drinks and Cocktails

Grilled Key Lime Mojitos

Grilled Key Lime Mojitos

Today, the mojito is the official cocktail of Miami. This recipe adds a twist to the classic recipe: caramelized sugar-crusted key limes over a screaming-hot fire.

Key limes are more aromatic and sour than traditional limes. Grilled key limes add a smoky caramel flavor to the cocktail.

Other Recipes from Episode 209: Florida Tailgate Party


Grilled Key Lime Mojitos

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Makes 4 cocktails, but can be multiplied as desired
  • Equipment: Long-handled wooden spoon; four 12- to 14-ounce glasses, such as highball glasses, sugar cane swizzle sticks


  • 8 key limes, halved crosswise and seeded, or 4 regular limes, halved crosswise
  • ½ cup sugar, plus extra as needed
  • 12 sprigs mint, stripped, plus extra sprigs for garnish
  • 1 cup white or dark rum
  • 3 cups ice cubes
  • 3 cups club soda
  • Sugar cane swizzle sticks, for garnish

Recipe Steps

1: Heat a grill to medium-high. Brush or scrape the grill grate clean and oil it well.

2: Spread the sugar in a shallow bowl. Dip the cut sides of the lime halves in the sugar and place, sugared side down, on the grill grate.

3: Grill until the sugar is nicely caramelized, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the limes to a cutting board and let cool. Slice each lime half in half through the stem end.

4: Place the quartered limes and the mint leaves in a clear glass pitcher. Vigorously muddle the limes and mint with the end of a wooden spoon; the idea is to bruise the mint leaves and extract the juice from the limes.

5: Stir in the rum, followed by the ice cubes. Add the club soda. Stir again, then taste for sweetness. Add a tablespoon of sugar, if desired. Serve chilled. Garnish each cocktail with a mint sprig and a sugar cane swizzle stick.

Recipe Tips

Our thanks to the sponsors of Project Fire Season 2:

Big Green Egg Kalamazoo Green Mountain Grills FireMagic Creekstone Farms Weber Maverick Shun Basques Bonfire Workman Publishing Smoke n Fire

Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2019 Barbacoa, Inc. Photos by Chris Bierlein.