The end of the peach season is nigh, Atlanta, and it wasn’t the best of years for the state fruit. It’s estimated Georgia farmers lost 80% of their peaches after a warmer than average winter followed by a deep freeze in March killed off the blooms of prematurely flowering trees. This could equal a loss of nearly $50 million dollars when the final numbers are tallied later this summer.
Chefs and bartenders around the metro area have taken the loss to heart and have been buying up this season’s peaches hoping to give back to the farmers they rely on daily for fresh, local produce. Bartenders, in particular, will be keeping the season going long after the last peach is plucked by creating shrubs, tinctures, cordials and bitters from the fruit for cocktails.
Summer is far from over, so drink of the peach a little longer with one of these six cocktails.
A cobbler cocktail is simply spirit, sugar and citrus served over crushed ice or “cobbles” for which the drink is named. A 19th-century American concoction, the cobbler has been showing up on bar menus across the country as bartenders rediscover this charming and simple cocktail. Foundation Social Eatery in Roswell created their cobbler as an homage to Georgia’s love of both whiskey and peaches. A refreshing bourbon drink paired with peach liqueur, FSE told the AJC Bar Scene guests need to hurry in as this cobbler is leaving the cocktail menu next week.
Foundation Social Eatery, 1570 Holcomb Bridge Road, #810, Roswell. 770-641-8877, foundationatl.com.
This peach-inspired sour comprised of gin, lemon juice, peach liqueur and peach syrup is shaken not stirred with muddled basil leaves to bump up the herbal notes in the gin. Topped with a simple garnish of basil oil, the Peachtree Street is as refreshing as it is lovely on a warm day.
St. Cecilia, 3455 Peachtree Road, Atlanta. 404-554-9995, stceciliaatl.com.
Eight Sushi combines peaches, spicy rye whiskey, soothing chamomile and the subtle sweetness of agave with a dash or two of Angostura for a peachy riff on the classic Old Fashioned.
Eight Sushi Lounge, 930 Howell Mill Road NW B, Atlanta. 404-796-8888, eightsushiatl.com.
Papa Don’t Peach
Who doesn’t love a good pun; especially when one suddenly finds themselves humming along to a certain Madonna song? Better Half located in Midtown’s Home Park neighborhood combines bourbon with the grappa-based Amaro Nonino, house-made peach shrub (see recipe below) and peach bitters for a bittersweet yet mellow late summer cocktail.
Better Half, 349 14th St. NW, Bldg. C, Atlanta. 404-695-4547, betterhalfatl.com.
Einstein’s brings a bit of southern comfort to the heart of midtown. Located a block off of Peachtree Street, guests can linger on the shady patio and sip this boozy soda cocktail made with honeysuckle vodka, peach puree, agave and spicy ginger beer topped with fizzy water.
Einstein’s, 1077 Juniper St. NE, Atlanta. 404-876-7925, einsteinsatlanta.com.
Evans City Zombie
The classic Zombie created by Donn the Beachcomber in 1934 predates Trader Vic’s Mai Tai by a decade. It’s a tiki cocktail that is both delicious and dangerous. In celebration of the fifth anniversary of The Lawrence, beverage manager Taylor Blackgrave is taking her Zombie to a mind-numbingly new level with not one but four different types of rum; including a high-octane 151 which helps form the potent base for the original. She then combines the rums with lime, pineapple, absinthe and a house-made peach jam made from Pearson’s peaches for a southern spin on this tiki classic.
The Lawrence, 905 Juniper St. NE, Atlanta. 404-961-7177, thelawrenceatlanta.com.
Create Better Half’s peach shrub at home
Think of a shrub in terms of cocktails as a rich simple syrup comprised of fruit, vinegar and sugars that lends both sweetness and slight acidity to a drink.
- Place 1 cup of peaches (may include pits) and 1 cup of granulated sugar into a glass jar.
- Mix well until sugar dissolves.
- Place in the refrigerator for one day.
- Add 3/4 cup of rice vinegar and mix well so sugar dissolves.
- Place back into the refrigerator for three days.
- Strain out all of the sediment and keep stored in the refrigerator.