August means: fruit. As the weather heats up, suddenly everything is in season– peaches, blueberries, blackberries, mango, raspberries… oh my. Now, picture those delicious things swirled together with ice and rum, and we’re going places. In honor of National Peach Month, I’ve dedicated this cocktail post to that first, delicious, taste of this year’s peach season. Here are three cocktails that can be enjoyed all day, and then long into the night. Travel the world with your taste buds: have a taste of the Havana, stop by western France, and end in the foothills of California. ¡Salud! Santé! Cheers!
Pineapple and Mango Rum Cocktail
This amazingly fruity punch adds a hint of the Caribbean to any gathering, making it perfect for a hot August night. Personally, I love to serve it in tikki mugs to give it an extra exotic touch. Use fresh fruit whenever possible, but frozen or canned will do in a pinch.
2 1/2 small ripe mangoes, peeled and cubed (about 2 cups), plus 1/2 mango cut into slices with skin, for garnish. You can also use mint or tropical flowers.
4 ounces best-quality golden rum
1/2 cup water
4 cups fresh pineapple juice (again, fresh is preferable. To get 4 cups you will need a 4 1/2-pound pineapple)
Puree mangoes, rum, and 1/2 cup water in a blender. Pour 2 ounces of puree per each chilled six 12-ounce tikki mugs (or glasses). Fill with ice, and top off with pineapple juice. Garnish with mango or flowers.
(Makes 6 servings)
Sauternes and Frozen Stone Fruit
For those that want to make a cocktail without any hard alcohol, this is a refreshing and unusual way to enjoy a sweet wine. Cubes of juicy peaches and apricots punctuate the chilled Sauternes (a full-bodied dessert wine from western France). The liquid plumps up the fruit, which then descends to the bottom of the glass as the cubes melt. August in a glass.
1 large peach (about 7 ounces)
2 medium apricots (about 2 ounces each)
1/3 cup peach syrup from canned peaches
2 cups chilled Sauternes
Pit and cut peach and apricots into 1/4-inch dice. Divide fruit evenly among 16 sections of an ice cube tray. Add 1 teaspoon peach syrup to each section (just enough to cover fruit). Freeze, about 6 hours. Don’t forget to also put your glasses in the freezer.
Put 4 fruit cubes into each of 4 chilled wine glasses. Pour 1/2 cup chilled Sauternes into each glass. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy.
(Makes 4 servings)
Raise a glass to hot days and balmy nights with this refreshing cocktail. The tart nature of the champagne works wonderfully well with the sweet berries. This can make this a very dangerous cocktail, as it is quite easy to drink. If you plan to be enjoying these all day, feel free to swap out the champagne for seltzer water. The cocktail will be just as delicious and you will be able to enjoy it for longer.
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon simple syrup (could link back to last post for recipe)
1 1/4 ounces vodka
Champagne or seltzer water
Mint sprig to garnish
In a glass, combine blackberries, lemon juice, and simple syrup; lightly crush berries with the juice and syrup to release their juice. Add ice and vodka; top with bubbles of your choice. Stir and garnish with a mint sprig.