As the heat from The Valley begins to rise and intrude upon my senses, I find myself craving languid afternoons punctuated by boozy beverages. The heat inspires indolence and indulgence. I move towards that which is effortless, in attempts to stay cool and conserve energy. The heat is my nemesis.
Though, I’ll allow that as we march towards the summer months—and I tremble with fear at the thought of the temperatures to come—there are some advantages to the season. Days spent along the coast. Warm evenings in the city. Summer produce on the verge of flourishing. This last point in particular lifts my spirits—at least something good can come from this overbearing heat that threatens my sanity.
This brings me to the peach. Sweet, juicy, and fragrant the peach is an ancient fruit that originated in China. I’ve read there are over two thousand varietals. For me it embodies a quintessential summer fruit. Grilled, made into tea, served in both sweet and savory dishes; the peach is a versatile fruit. As soon as I laid eyes on the first peaches of the season I was resolute in my desire to take full advantage of their alluring attributes.
Organic peach juice served as the body of this libation and Heritage Distilling’s heady vanilla infused vodka seemed an appropriate paring. I added in some rich honey for a touch more sweetness. While mint would have sufficed I’ve found I prefer the bold essence of basil in my drinks as of late. The juicy peach slices used as garnish were infused with all these flavors and were readily consumed at the drink’s conclusion.
This is a beverage for hot days and balmy nights. It is sweet and refreshing and vibrant. Each sip keeps the heat at bay and invigorates the senses. It’s Friday and the weekend holds the promise of rising temperatures and lethargy. Do yourself a favor and embrace the season and its simple pleasures.
- 2 oz. Heritage Distilling Vanilla Vodka
- 8 basil leaves, plus more for garnish
- 2 tsp. honey
- 4 oz. peach juice
- Sparkling water or club soda
- Fresh peach slices, for garnish
- Ice cubes
- Fill a tall glass halfway with ice.
- In a cocktail shaker combine vodka, peach juice, basil leaves, and honey.
- Muddle to release the flavor of the basil.
- Shake well to dissolve the honey and strain into glass.
- Top off with sparkling water (I used a peach sugar-free flavor).
- Garnish with basil and fresh peach wedges.