Misshapen peaches were on sale at the grocery store. Y’know, the “ugly” fruit that conventional shoppers apparently don’t want to buy. But these peaches were deliciously ripe and sweet — until, after a few days of sitting on the counter, they were on the verge of being over-ripe. Which called for emergency measures in the form of a peach-based cocktail.
The Peach Smash is a late summer drink intended to take advantage of a bounty of peaches and other summery flavours. My research shows it’s a staple of the American South, and as such there are many variations on the theme. Here’s the recipe we used. The proportions lend themselves to making Peach Smash in a pitcher.
- 1/4 lemon*
- 1/2 fresh peach, cut into chunks
- 3 or 4 mint leaves
- 1 oz water
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- 2 oz Canadian Club
- lemon slices, peach slices, and mint leaves to garnish
Layer lemon, peach chunks, mint leaves, water, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker; muddle. Add ice and whisky; shake well. Strain drink into an old-fashioned glass with ice and garnish.
*If you really want to be fussy, separate the lemon flesh from the lemon skin; muddle the peel and the flesh, but discard the pith.
The verdict: Yum! This cocktail finely balances sweet, tart, and strong. If you prefer the alcohol flavour to be a little more subtle, use only one ounce: the mix doesn’t entirely “mask” the whisky. We felt, however, that the whisky prevented the fruitiness of the peach and lemon from becoming cloying. If you have a shady porch to visit on a sunny afternoon, a Peach Smash would be the perfect complement. Cheers!