Martha Stewart Living (July 2012)
Look, we hate to complain about taking a vacation, but here goes anyway:
Isn't the week back at work after a vacation the worst? You're digging out of hundreds of emails, scrambling to get caught up at work and all the while thinking about how this time last week you were sitting on a beach. Doesn't it just make you...want a cocktail?
Well, we certainly do. And we're looking forward to capping off this week with a nice, cool sipper. Perhaps we'll make a couple of these Grilled Peach Old-Fashioneds.
But the folks at Martha Stewart Living had an idea we wish we'd thought of years ago: Using a grilled peach in a cocktail. Genius!
This drink is from the same little July feature that included the Chili-and-Cucumber Margarita we made recently. We loved the idea of using grilled peaches to amp up a traditional old-fashioned, giving a warm-weather spin to something that we typically think of as a winter drink.
And while we still love the idea, the execution is, well, a bit lacking. To no one's surprise, grilling a peach and tossing it into a cocktail as a garnish doesn't really do much in terms of flavor. We greatly enjoyed this old-fashioned, but it tastes like every old-fashioned we've ever had. The peach is a beautiful garnish, and a fun party trick, but it doesn't really change the flavor.
Don't get us wrong -- we still think it's really clever. And if you serve this at a cocktail party or a backyard cook-out, it would definitely make an impression on your guests. They'll remember the drink not for the way it tastes, but for the way it looks. Still, it will be memorable (unless they have more than two of these, in which case they won't remember much at all).
If you really want to infuse this with a little peach flavor, we'd suggest one of a few options:
- Take an extra peach, dice it and muddle it along with the thyme and sugar.
- Consider adding a very small amount (a teaspoon or less) of peach liqueur to the shaker before you divide it among the 4 glasses.
- Use peach bitters in place of the regular bitters called for in the recipe.
Any one of those twists -- we'd suggest just doing one -- ought to infuse this drink with just the right hint of fruit flavor, giving you a cocktail that's just peachy. (Sorry.)
Yield: 4 cocktails
2 ripe yellow peaches
2 tablespoons sugar
6 sprigs thyme, plus more for garnish
4 dashes of bitters
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
6 ounces bourbon
Quarter peaches and grill until charred. Muddle sugar, thyme, bitters, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Add bourbon, and divide among 4 ice-filled glasses. Garnish with peach section and thyme sprigs.