Food & Drink

Cool down, slow down with fruit, mint and bourbon

Photo by Kevin Hopper

The summer heat can be completely annoying. We all love to say this is the best time of the year, but is it really? When the dial hits 95 degrees, most folks stay inside and crank up the AC. I’m right there with them.

However, if you are planning to spend a lot of time in the godawful heat, at least have something to cool you down. Enter the whiskey smash.

This particular drink has origins dating back to the 19th century, but at that time there was seemingly no difference between a smash and a julep. Add a bit of fruit and citrus to the standard julep recipe of mint, sugar and bourbon and you end up with a drink that is brighter on the palate and bursting with summer fruit flavor.

Since you’ve already got the barbecue on, halve a few peaches and grill until they are soft. Let those cool down, slice them into wedges and prepare this lovely little summer cooler, best served in a mason jar.

Kevin Hopper is the bar manager at Capitol Bar on West State Street. He loves Manhattans and all things from the school of old.

Ginger Peach Bourbon Smash

2 oz. Elijah Craig Small Batch bourbon, or premium bourbon

.75 oz. ginger simple syrup (see recipe below)

2 lemon wedges

fresh mint

3 wedges roasted peach

In a mixing glass, muddle lemon wedges (this releases all that wonderful lemon oil). Add mint, peaches, ginger syrup, bourbon and ice. Shake in a cocktail shaker, and double strain into an old fashioned glass filled with ice. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and sip the day away.

Ginger simple syrup: Combine 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar in a small pot and heat over medium heat. Stir frequently until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat. Add 6-8 slices of fresh ginger and let steep until syrup has cooled down. Discard ginger and keep refrigerated up to one month.