Peach & Herb
There used to be a bar nearby named Kitty’s. Very cool place, in a primarily industrial neighborhood, ample outdoor seating and a killer cocktail menu. They served this cocktail, or something rather a lot like it. I used to stop by after work and take in the afternoon sun while sipping one of these. Kitty’s is no more but I still remember that killer flavor combination of peaches and basil. So different yet so refreshing. Here’s my version.
Makes 2 cocktails
Time 10 minutes
2-4 ounces’ vodka (you could also pull it off with a light rum or a good quality gin for that matter, ooh maybe even a silver tequila)
20 basil leaves (plus more for garnish)
3 ounces peach syrup or peach liquor (see companion recipe)
½ cup sparkling water
Juice of ½ a lime
On the rocks:
Fill two low ball cocktail glasses with ice and set aside. Put the vodka and basil in a large mason jar and mash it with the wrong end of a wooden spoon. Add the peach syrup, sparkling water and lime juice. Stir well and pour over ice, distributing the basil equally. Garnish with more basil leaves as desired.
Fill two martini glasses with ice, top off with water and set aside. Put the vodka and basil in a large mason jar and mash it with the wrong end of a wooden spoon. Add the peach syrup, sparkling water and lime juice. Fill half way with ice, close the lid tightly and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Empty the martini glasses and strain the liquid into them evenly. Garnish with basil leaves and serve immediately.
To make the Peach Syrup
I developed this recipe for the purpose of making cocktails but it has many applications. Italian soda, over ice cream, to flavor a milkshake, on waffles… use your imagination. This stuff is delicious. If you are like me and can’t resist stone fruit in it’s prime, you’ll eat one of the peaches… so buy extra peaches. I made this on a summer afternoon. I was overwhelmed by the smell and look of these peaches as I cut them up. I ate one. Gobbled it up, really. It was delicious and worth it. I meant to put 4 peaches in the recipe but it worked great with 3.
3-4 ripe peaches
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
Wash, pit and quarter the peaches. Put them in a medium saucepan with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil steadily for 5 minutes (I got impatient here and crushed my peaches with a potato masher to make them cook quicker). Continue to boil until all the peach flesh is tender and the liquid is somewhat reduced, 10 to 15 minutes.
Puree in a blender (if your blender can handle hot liquids, if not, let it cool first). Pour the puree back into the saucepan and stir in the sugar. Replace the sauce over medium heat and slowly bring it to a boil, stirring frequently with a spatula to be sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Continue to boil until the sauce is shiny and all the sugar has dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Strain into a jar and set aside to cool.