How to drink summer’s blushing fruit while it’s in season.
When life gives you peaches, make cocktails. It’s Palisade peach season and we’re puréeing, infusing, garnishing and more with the stone fruit. The fuzzy produce is very versatile, according to Jake Soffes, principal and owner of Hudson Hill in Capitol Hill.
“Peaches are an incredible ingredient for summer cocktails,” he says. “There’s a really nice balance of sweetness and acidity—and when you put the actual fruit into a drink, it has a great texture and viscosity. A syrup, purée or any type of blendable ingredient works really well.”
The secrets to making a yummy drink? “You can really use peaches as they come,” Soffes says. “But early in the season they are going to be more firm and tart, so it’s better to make a syrup later in the season with riper peaches. Late-season varieties are also fantastic to macerate, soak and use to infuse a liquor—and also freeze. Once you have clean, cut-up, frozen peaches, you can use them all year round, for instance as ice cubes.” We asked Soffes for his top peach recipes to try at home. Farmers’ market, here we come.
SUMMER PEACH GRANITA
2 cups vodka or gin
1 cup grapefruit juice
½ cup lemon juice
1 cup lavender simple syrup (combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and 3 teaspoons lavender flowers; bring to a boil and cool/strain)
½ cup Suze liqueur
2 cups finely chopped peaches
Combine all ingredients in a large container with a lid and place in freezer. Stir thoroughly every 90 minutes until completely frozen. Shave the frozen granita with a large spoon into a coupe or other decorative glassware. Serve with a spoon. Optional: Top with extra grapefruit juice and/or lavender syrup to loosen up the mixture or adjust the flavor.
1 ½ ounces peach-infused bourbon*
1 ounce lemon juice
1 ounce peach purée*
1 egg white 1 ounce club soda
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Strain into a highball glass over fresh ice cubes. Slowly pour in the club soda to fill glass and “fizz” the drink.
2 cups diced peaches
1 liter your favorite bourbon
Combine ingredients in a container, top with a lid and refrigerate for 24 hours. Strain and reserve peaches to make a purée.
6 cardamom pods
1 cup water
½ cup sugar
2 cups bourbon-soaked peaches
½ vanilla bean
Toast cardamom pods in a pan until fragrant, then add water and bring to a boil. Add sugar, peaches and vanilla and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and purée in a food processor. Fine-strain the mixture and cool.
619 E. 13th Ave.