Cocktail O’Clock: A Berry Peachy Summer

Van Gogh's Peach Cooler

Is it August already? Must be time to break out the peach vodka!

Peach Cooler

Created by The Cocktail Guru, Jonathan Pogash

1 1/2 oz. Van Gogh Cool Peach Vodka
1 oz. Pomegranate juice
2 oz. Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer

Pour all ingredients over ice into a rocks glass.

Garnish: Lime wedge

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Put It In a Jar: Peach Jam

Editor’s Note: Please welcome new contributor Jessica Alter, who joins ES as our resident canner/jammer/pickler/all-around put-it-in-a-jar-er.

Welcome to “Put it in Jar,” your go-to guide for must-make jams, plump pickles and anything else that can be stored in or served in…well, a jar. READERS BEWARE: I am not an expert in the field of canning or preserving. For the most part, I’m going down this rabbit hole because A) I enjoy topping my carbohydrates with sweet goodness in the form of gooey fruit and B) I love jars.

This past weekend I decided to start off by making a simple batch of peach jam. When looking for the perfect recipe, I wanted to make something so easy that I couldn’t possibly screw it up. (I’m encouraged by positive reinforcement. Failure makes me give up.) This recipe from Food & Wine was just the ticket. Peaches. Sugar. Lemon Juice. ‘Nuff said.

Begin by peeling and pitting the peaches into 1/2 inch wedges. So far, so good…

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This is What Brunch at Per Se Looks Like

Per Se may be the best restaurant in New York, but it’s also a food blogger’s nightmare: no photos allowed!?! ES Spy Sara Huneke discovered a secret: opt for their $200 brunch instead of dinner, and you’ll have enough natural light flowing in to surreptitiously take drool-worthy smartphone shots.

Red wine-braised heirloom onions, arrowleaf spinach, broccolini, cauliflower, Meyer lemon and preserved horseradish.

Glazed white asparagus, yellow cling peaches, Belgian endive, Pearson Farm’s pecans, sorrel and Australian black winter truffle.

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Bourbon Peaches and Cream Popsicles

Faster than you can say “cupcake fatigue,” gourmet popsicles have become the latest fully saturated food trend. Now you don’t even have to leave your house to have them. here’s a DIY home brew popsicle recipe with an adult twist.

Don’t be fooled by the Lolita-esque styling of these pops. The crushed peaches in these popsicles were soaked in a bourbon bath to cool you down and chill you out. Mix it with a little simple syrup and some plain yogurt and you’ll have cocktail popsicles in just a few freezing hours.

. . . And of course, lick responsibly.

Bourbon Peaches and Cream Popsicles

 

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Peaches ‘N’ Pita

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As I mentioned earlier in the week, the veggie gf and I are spending the next month or so in San Francisco, while she completes a medical rotation here and I — well, eat. We found a nice little one-bedroom sublet on craigslist that was not a scam at all (phew) and have been spending most of our free time so far wandering the streets casually in search of grub.

Sunday morning, our first full day here, we strolled down the hill (goddamn, they are not kidding around about these hills) and stumbled into the Fort Mason farmers’ market, where the free samples alone were basically a full breakfast. There were about 12 varieties of fresh peaches, plums and nectarines cut up for people to try, and each of them was about 100 times better than anything I’ve tasted on the East Coast so far this year. Needless to say, we left with several different kinds of peaches to take home.

That night, I picked up some coffee before heading home (goddamn, these people are not kidding around about their coffee), and while at the store, grabbed some pita for breakfast in the morning — I like to toast it up and melt a little butter and maybe some herbs on it — a simple but satisfying breakfast.

So while our place is nice, it turns out the girl we are renting from is, shall we say, significantly less obsessed with cooking than I am. She has no toaster. No coffee maker. No microwave. No spices past salt and pepper. It turned out even my simple breakfast of toasted pita was too fancy for this bare kitchen. I had my single-brew coffee maker on hand for emergencies, but clearly, I had to improvise.

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A Promise I Will Keep

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The contempt I maintain toward measuring has seeped into my cocktails. Even though it barely ever works (although my friend Tim can eye the hell out of a drink), I refuse to pull out a jigger to ensure proper proportions.

But that is because I think I found the secret ingredient, er, science behind enhancing an otherwise unsuccessful cocktail.

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