I was at a wedding not that long ago when the groom came up to me and said, “I thought of you while I was at the wine store — and I bought an extra case.” Now I’ve never been known to drink an entire case of wine in one night (that I can recall), but I guess that tells you something about me.
I love wine and I love a good cocktail and I love iced cold beer too. Along the same lines, more recently I was going to my friend Laura’s house to grill out (she has one of those rare things in Brooklyn called a roof deck), and I was excited enough about the grill and the deck. But that day, she sent me a text simply saying, “I’m making bourbon peach punch.” Clearly, Laura knows the way to my heart.
The night was one of the hottest so far this summer, humid and sticky, but sitting far above the pavement, there was the slightest breeze, and we looked out over the rooftops and church steeples, and it felt like we were someplace else entirely, like France maybe (only a France set in front of a gorgeous Manhattan skyline).
There was good conversation and great food, grilled Polish sausages from a local market, a salad of cucumber, pea shoots and cilantro, and gazpacho. There was also bourbon peach punch. Really, that drink was the perfect accompaniment to the muggy evening, like something two spirited old ladies might sip sitting in rocking chairs on a sultry night in Georgia.
I left before getting Laura’s recipe for the drink, but the next day, when I went to the farmer’s market, the first thing that caught my eye were peaches, bursting with juice, so soft they bruised at the slightest rough touch. Lucky for me, I knew exactly what to do with them.
Bourbon Peach Punch
- Juice from 1 ripe peach
- 3 tablespoons simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, heated to blend, then chilled)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 ½ oz. bourbon or whiskey
- Good ginger ale like Boylan or ginger beer
- Using your hands, squeeze the juice from one peach into a bowl. Add the lemon juice, simple syrup and fresh ginger.
- Put ice into a cocktail shaker, add the whiskey, then add the juice mixture. Shake and pour into a glass.
- Top lightly with ginger ale. Garnish with peach slices.
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