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Gin and the Grill: 3 Go-To Grill Secrets for Spirited Cookouts

Good grilling is an art.  If you’re like us, you don’t roll away your grill on the last day of summer, it stays primed and ready right through the winter.  If you grill year-round, you’re going to need to challenge yourself and try new things.  For us, the world of marinades and cocktail pairings got us out of our steak-and-burgers rut in a heartbeat.  Want a good primer to get you started?  We’ll share our own prized secret– spirited grilling, how cooking with gin can revolutionize how you season and enjoy steak, chicken and more.  It’s been around since the 17th century– now it’s time to learn why we’re just now starting to cook with it again.

Grilled Tanqueray Flank Steak

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There’s a lot more to steak than just the typical strip, but you’ll need to arm yourself with a marinade recipe to explore the boundaries of beef.  The cut of the flank is ideal for creative seasoning, but is typically too bland to just toss on the grill alone.  So to prepare the perfect flank, you’ll want a few things out of your marinade– namely salt, sugar and some aromatic spicing.  To do that, you cannot beat simple soy sauce for salt, natural honey for sugar, and a few ounces of Tanqueray for aromatic spicing.  The details:

  • 1 1/2 pounds of flank steak (serves four)
  • 1/4 cup of Tanqueray® London Dry Gin (equivalent to two shots)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds (hold for garnish)

That whole set of ingredients can be tossed in a large plastic bag with the flank steak for at least an hour.  Marinades tend to only permeate a millimeter or two into your steak, so you’re really only treating the surface.  Set some marinade aside for after the grilling is done, and drizzle some over your steak and garnish with sesame seeds on top.  As for the grilling itself, a 1 1/2 pound flank steak can be cooked to medium rare with about 5 minutes on each side over medium high heat.

Pro Tip: One of the best parts of grilling with gin is that you’re half-way to a cocktail throughout the process.  A classic Tanqueray-and-tonic goes great with the Tanqueray Flank Steak– just toss some rocks in a tumbler, add an ounce of Tanqueray, a splash of lime juice and fill to the ice level with tonic.

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Tanqueray and Tonic Grilled Chicken Kebabs

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For lighter meats, you can even take your Tanqueray and tonic obsession a step further and use it directly as a marinade.  Crazy?  No, delicious.  Tanqueray and Tonic Grilled Chicken Kebabs uses a “flash marinade” that is good for last-minute grilling.  You don’t want to use a tonic-based marinade for longer than 20 minutes or the flavor will damage your final product.  To prepare, cut up a few breasts of chicken into inch-sized cubes and toss them into a bowl with Tanqueray, tonic, lime, a diced onion and some dried basil.  The skewer the chicken with your veggies of choice, and you’re ready to grill.

  • 4 chicken breasts (cut into 1-inch cubes)
  • 1 white onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup Tanqueray® London Dry Gin
  • 1/4 cup tonic
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon of dried basil

Toss all of the above ingredients into a bowl for no more than 20 minutes, then start skewering with the vegetables of your choice.  We used red onion, yellow squash, green pepper, red pepper and white mushrooms.  The result is quite colorful, very easy-on-the-eyes for your grilling guests.  We also prepared some black beans and rice and let our guests dig in family-style.  The Tanquery and Tonic marinade gave the chicken a crisp, aromatic flavor that mixed in well with the veggies.  It’s our go-to recipe for chicken kabobs for its easy preparation, quick marinade and Tanqueray-infused flavor.

Pro Tip: Since you’ve got the grill running, why not get creative with cocktail prep?  On to the next recipe…

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Tanqueray Grilled Key Lime and Thyme Tonic

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This right here is one of the best gin and tonic cocktails we’ve tasted, and the best part is its preparation on the grill.  Our Tanqueray Grilled Key Lime and Thyme Tonic features thyme, cucumber, key lime and tonic for a smokey, spicy take on the traditional.  Fortunately, we’ve got easy access to key limes on local fruit trees and thyme from our front porch– the perks of our Florida address.

  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 4 key limes
  • 2 cucumber slices
  • 1 1/2 ounces Tanqueray® London Dry Gin
  • 3 ounces tonic

Slice one or two key limes in half and place all four halves on the grill next to the two sprigs of thyme.  You won’t need much time on the grill, just enough to produce grill marks on the lime and to dry out the thyme a little bit.  The point of the grill here is to add some smokey flavor into the drink, which will add to the spice and citrus.  Take the grilled key lime halves and the thyme and pop them into the bottom of the glass with 2 thin slices of cucumber.  Muddle away until you’ve got a decent blend going.  Add some ice, squeeze the juice of your remaining limes, then add your Tanqueray and fill to the top of the rocks with tonic.

If you’re picky, you can do the muddling and mixing in a cocktail shaker and then strain the result into a rocks glass.  The resulting flavor tastes like a traditional gin and tonic, but with a smokey, spicey and citrusy accent.  You won’t be able to drink just one…

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