Like many of the things I make, this one starts with a pile of produce sitting on my counter looking for a recipe to use it in. In this case it was a container of peaches I picked up at a farm nearby. Some of them we ate; some we used in a Peach Blueberry Crisp; and some we decided to mix with bourbon and drink on a warm summer’s evening. All of these were good choices but I think using a few peaches in a frozen bourbon slushie was a particularly excellent one.
In the above picture you see a particularly good bourbon which has given its all in the development of this recipe.
I knew I wanted to use peaches and bourbon and I wanted a cold drink but I also hoped someone would have ideas on other flavors and have produced a recipe I could use as a base for further experimentation. I was in luck when I found this Peach, Ginger, and Bourbon Frozen Cocktail at Bon Appetit. Ginger seemed just perfect to provide a bit of spice to the drink and I liked the ratios of ingredients.
Well, I liked the ratios of ingredients except for the 2 tablespoons of ginger which the recipe called for. This seemed to me to be…shall we say a bit much. In the first test of the recipe I reduced the ginger to 1 tablespoon, which still seemed rather high but I figured reducing it by half would be enough. Unfortunately, it was not. The first tastes were excellent! I loved it! And then the ginger caught up with us and that was all we could taste. However, those first tastes let me know I was onto something good.
In our second test of the recipe (See what I do for you!), we were visiting my husband’s parents and my mother-in-law suggested trying a ginger infused syrup. I thought that sounded like an excellent idea. I made a syrup and the drinks were quite tasty. Ginger syrup is something I going to want to try in something else in the future. However, this time the ginger was reduced to a whisper and adding more ginger flavor meant added more sweetener. I like the drinks lightly sweetened so I decided I needed to decouple the sweetness from the ginger and go back to agave syrup and grated ginger.
Now we were getting closer! The big question was how much ginger was right amount to spice things up enough without overpowering the peaches. 1 tablespoon was too much, that we knew. So I started with 1/2 teaspoon and added ginger until we were happy with the amount. And it turns out that 1 teaspoon is just right for our tastes. You may want to start with less and add more until you are happy. It’s much easier to add more than to take some out. Actually it’s pretty much impossible to take some out so starting small is a good choice.
Once the ginger question was resolved, the last issue I had with the drink was that, even with fresh, ripe peaches, it simply did not have enough peach flavor for me. That was the flavor I wanted to knock me over and let me know it was a peach drink.
The answer to this was to add one more peach to recipe, and this one you cook down until it’s soft and syrupy. Concentrated essence of peach. Once I added that to the rest of the recipe, I knew I had it. This was the bourbon peach drink of my dreams.
And it’s as amazingly good with prepared frozen packaged peaches from the store as it is with the ripe peaches I froze myself. If you are packaging up peaches for the winter, peeling and slicing being an excellent way to get them ready for the freezer, pull out a pack and make this drink. If you do not want to deal with peeling your own, or you want to drink this on a hot day in May when there is not a peach to be found, prepared peaches are a wonderful way to enjoy this drink in whatever season you find yourself.
- 3½ cups sliced peeled peaches, about 5-6 peaches
- 6 oz bourbon
- 3 oz agave syrup
- 2 cups ice
- 1 tsp finely grated peeled ginger
- When using fresh peaches, 30 seconds in boiling water then into an ice water bath will make them easy to peel. Peel and slice all the peaches.
- One peach is going to be cooked down, so reserve that one. Take the rest of them and arrange them on parchment lined cookie sheets and put them in the freezer until solid, about 2-3 hours.
- Put the reserved peach in a small saucepan with ¼ cup water and heat on high until boiling. Reduce heat to medium and cook down until most of the water has evaporated and the peach very soft, about 10 minutes. Cool cooked peach in refrigerator. (Or freezer for about 20 minutes if your other peaches are already frozen.)
- Take all ingredients and put in blender. Blend until smooth. This may take a bit of stirring depending on your blender. Also, if your blender is a bit under-powered, blend one half of the recipe and then the other half.
- Drink will be very thick! Spoon out into four glasses. Garnish with a sprig of sage or mint as desired.
- If using bagged frozen peaches, remove one peach worth of slices and bring to a boil with the water as directed. Chill until cool, then proceed with the rest of the recipe.