The Wild Ruffian

What’s in a name? Well, three ounces of alcohol, for starters—and finishers if you drink this cocktail too quickly. But before we get to that, here’s a little info about this summer sipper.

Developed by mixologist Lynn House of Chicago’s Blackbird restaurant, the Wild Ruffian is a perfect cocktail for highlighting the fruity side of Cognac. But seeing as we were making this recipe by the pitcher (there are four of us), and that each drink called for three ounces of Cognac, we opted to spare the liquid gold and to sub in a less expensive option: pisco (a.k.a. Chilean brandy). Here’s how we made our version.


(makes 4)

      • 12 ounces pisco (or Cognac if your budget can afford it)
      • 1/2 cup apricot jam (we used E.D. Smith Triple Fruits: Apricot, Peach & Passion Fruit)
      • 2 large ripe peaches, halved, pitted and grated into pulp on box grater
      • 3 tbsps white sugar
      • 40 mint leaves
      • Crushed ice
      • Mint sprigs and peach wedges, to garnish

To a small pitcher, add the pisco, apricot jam, grated peaches, and sugar. Mix to combine, cover with a plate or plastic wrap, and place in the fridge to chill for 3 hours. When it’s cocktail time, place 10 torn-up mint leaves in each highball glass, and muddle them, being sure to coat the inside of the glasses with all the minty goodness. Next, discard half the mint from each glass, and fill each glass with crushed ice. Evenly divide the peach-infused pisco among the glasses, stir, garnish, and serve.

The verdict: You might want to collect people’s car keys before you pour—even if they walked. So yeah, boozy. But before I heed that warning, a word about the taste: De-lightful! The mint imparts such a lovely sweetness and takes the edge off the pisco in the most surprising way. And trust me, the pisco needed softening. In fact, between the sweet acidity from the fruit and the refreshing oils from the mint, this snow cone-esque cocktail was like summer in a glass. If summer could get you drunk in five seconds, that is. Sip slowly.

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