I don’t know what’s happening where you live, but in Seattle fall is in the wind. As we round the corner into September, summer has pretty much decided to call it quits.
Amazingly, I don’t mind at all. We’ve had the summer-of-all-summers here in the Pacific Northwest. I’m talking a glorious, sun-filled, resplendent season fit for picnics and sunbathing and plunging into the surf.
Also, the hardcore-nerd piece of my brain is permanently programmed to love back-to-school season. A chill in the air will forever trigger dreams of pristine notebooks and the smell of freshly-sharpened pencils and hours spent hiding away in the library.
There’s one thing I’m sad to be saying goodbye to though: the unbelievable peaches we’ve had all summer. I’ve never in my whole life tasted peaches as good as these. They are the platonic ideal of a peach: downy-skinned, juicy, heavy in the hand and with the lingering smell of peach blossoms still about them. Perfection.
These, I will miss.
So in these last days of the season, as the afternoon shadows get longer and we transition to sweaters and boots and bags heavy with books, I’m going to hold onto a little piece of summer with this peachy bourbon fizz.
The classic combination of bourbon and peaches is jazzed up with a subtle cardamom syrup and brightened with fresh mint and a little lemon. The soda keeps it light. It’s my perfect summer-into-fall cocktail.
Mix one up this weekend and let me know what you think in the comments!
- ¼ ripe peach, thinly sliced, plus additional to garnish
- 4 teaspoons cardamom simple syrup (recipe below)
- ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- 1 dash bitters
- ½ cup chilled soda water, or to taste
- 1 sprig fresh mint
*Note: This drink is pretty light. If you're in the mood for a boozier cocktail, add a splash more bourbon.
In a heavy pint glass, muddle the peach slices. Add the simple syrup, lemon juice, bourbon, bitters and ¼ cup of the soda water. Stir for 10-15 seconds then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a rocks glass filled with ice. Top with the remaining ¼ cup soda water (or more, if desired). Garnish with a peach slices or two and the mint sprig.
Makes 1 drink.
Cardamom Simple Syrup (double-strength)
3 green cardamom pods
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Place the cardamom in a mortar and pestle and pound just to break the pods open and crush the seeds a little. Transfer the seeds to a small saucepan. Add the sugar and water and bring to the boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. When the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is clear, turn off the heat. Cool to room temperature then strain.
Since this simple syrup is double-strength, it will keep for up to 6 months covered and stored in the fridge.
Makes 1 cup.