A few weeks ago, I went on a From Scratch Club field trip peach picking with some of the other AMAZING contributors. And I tell you, did I ever pick peaches. I picked two bushels full, which equates to about 65 pounds of peaches. After blanching, skinning, pitting, slicing, canning, processing, freezing, and other various applications, I ended up with a ton of peach juice left over. Practically everything in my kitchen is dyed pink from it (including a cute little henley top that has seen better days – it’s now the “official” canning shirt).
You’re probably wondering how one goes about juicing a peach. You don’t, really. Peaches sort of “juice” themselves. I find that as my peaches sit in a bowl waiting to be canned or made into pies or sauces, they release A LOT of juice. I simply save it and use it for other applications (for instance, if you can peaches, you can use the juice for the syrup instead of water).
Peaches are a surprisingly versatile and overlooked fruit (they make banging cocktails or mocktails). You can basically use a peach in lieu of apples, though here are two beverages that are quintessentially “peach.” Give ‘em a go and feel free to embellish them as you please (and leave me a comment telling me all about it! I’d love to hear). The first, Positano Peach, is a beer-cocktail named for the breathtakingly beautiful Italian village of Positano. It uses the classic Italian beer, Peroni. The second cocktail is Stateside inspired dubbed Sweet Savannah Sipper. It harkens to Georgia Peaches and Southern Sweet Tea and begs to be enjoyed while listening to Ray Charles.
One 12 fl.oz bottle of Peroni
1/3 cup peach juice
1 tablespoon mint simple syrup*
Pour the full bottle of Peroni into a Pilsner glass (tip the glass slightly to ensure the best head of the beer develops). Add the peach juice and the simple syrup. Stir and enjoy. Serves One.
*Mint Simple Syrup: In a small saucepan, combine one cup of water with 1/2 cup of sugar (or sugar-substitute, like Stevia). Bring to a simmer and stir until all sugar has dissolved and the syrup appears clear. Chop the leaves of two-to-three sprigs of mint (I used Apple and Pineapple Mint, but any variety will work) and add it to the simple syrup. Remove from the heat and allow the leaves to step for 10 minutes. Strain, refrigerate.
SWEET SAVANNAH SIPPER
3/4 cup peach juice
1/2 tablespoon superfine sugar**
1/2 cup Leopold Brothers Georgia Peach Whiskey***
1 cup iced black tea (like Earl Grey or English Breakfast)
Put two-to-three ice cubes into two double-old-fashioned glasses. In a large measuring cup, combine peach juice, sugar and whiskey. Stir to mix and dissolve sugar. Pour half of the whiskey mixture into each glass. Top with 1/2 cup of iced tea in each glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and sprig of mint.
** Superfine sugar is available widely available, but simply putting regular graulated sugar in a blender and processing until fine and almost powdery is a fine method to make superfine sugar.
For a non-alcoholic version of this recipe, simply omit the whiskey. Turns out, kids really like it!